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City council passes new ordinance to regulate plastic use in Tacloban

City council passes new ordinance to regulate plastic use in Tacloban

Tacloban City council addresses solid waste with a new ordinance regulating plastic use, promoting sustainable waste management practices, and reducing the waste produced. File photo

TACLOBAN CITY – To address the growing issue of solid waste, the city council has recently passed a new ordinance. The regulation aims to regulate the use of plastic bags and polystyrene as packaging materials to promote sustainable waste management practices and reduce the amount of waste produced.

The "Proposed Ordinance Regulating The Use Of Plastic And Utilization Of Polystyrene As Packaging Materials In The City Of Tacloban, And Prescribing Penalties For Violations Thereof" was passed for the third and final reading during the City Council's regular session on March 23, 2023.

The ordinance, authored by Councilor Aimee Grafil, who chairs the city council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, has been six years in the making (2017-2023).

According to the Solid Waste Management Office of Tacloban City, the city generates an average of 141 tons of waste daily, with plastic waste accounting for a significant proportion of the total volume of solid waste produced.

Under the new ordinance, commercial establishments must encourage customers to bring their reusable bags when shopping, make eco-friendly or reusable bags available for sale, and designate a "green lane" for customers who bring their own bags. The ordinance also prohibits using party flags during festivals and events to minimize waste.

Violators of the ordinance will face fines ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP5,000 and a maximum imprisonment of six months at the court's discretion. Businesses that violate the ordinance will face fines ranging from PHP2,000 to PHP5,000 and a license cancellation for a year.

Councilor Grafil hopes the new ordinance will promote environmental consciousness and responsibility among the public. Additionally, she notes that the new regulation will provide opportunities for livelihood and productivity to communities by enabling them to produce indigenous bags and other eco-friendly alternatives, thereby promoting sustainable economic growth in the city.

The city council agreed that the newly passed ordinance regulating plastic usage shall take effect in January 2024 or once signed by Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez. —iTacloban (Source: PNA/CIO)

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