Monday, May 16, 2011

Calapan bans use of plastics

Starting yesterday, it will be a “no-plastic Sunday” for this city, courtesy of a recently adopted ordinance banning the use of plastic bags in establishments here.

The “no-plastic Sunday” activity will be implemented for six months to give time for businesses and other vendors here to get used to providing alternative biodegradable and reusable wrapping and packagingmaterials before the ordinance is fully implemented in January 2012.

The ordinance, passed by the city council on April 29, prohibits the “use and sale of non-biodegradableplastic bags and Styrofoam as bagging and packaging materials for dry and wet goods” sold anywhere in the city.

The city government decided to ban the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam because they “are the main cause of drainage clogging resulting to flooding;” and that “when these are burned, these deplete the ozone layer, which results to global warming and climate change.”

The ordinance is Calapan’s way of helping save Mother Earth, said Vice Mayor Antonio Perez in a telephone interview Saturday.

The ordinance encourages alternative packaging materials like bayong (bag made from pandan leaves), cheese cloth, and leaves of banana, yam or water lily.

Under the measure, anyone caught selling goods wrapped in plastic bags will be meted the following penalties: first offense, four hours community service and P500 fine; second offense, eight hours community service and a fine of P1,000; and third offense, imprisonment of not more than six months and P2,500 fine.

The permits of businesses violating the ordinance will be cancelled for one year.

The ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam is under the Green Calapan Program, which was launched by the city government here on May 5, during the Miss Philippines Earth pageant.

Mayor Paulino “Doy” Leachon, in a statement, said he was giving his full support to the program, as “more than the infrastructure, the transformation of people and culture are more important.”


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