Botolan LGU bans single-use plastic, Styrofoam containers

BOTOLAN, Zambales — The municipal government of Botolan, Zambales has prohibited single-use plastic, as well as styrofoam containers to help contain plastic pollution and maintain ecological balance in the community.

Mayor Jun Omar Ebdane said the ban was instituted under Municipal Ordinance No. 005-2019 passed by the town council. The prohibition took effect last September 2.

The ban covers the sale and use of sando bags, plastic film bag, plastic shopping bag and other single-use plastic products and styrofoam containers.

More and more LGUs are banning single-use plastic and styrofoam because of the growing problem of ocean pollution in the country. In 2019, the Philippines had the largest share of global plastic waste discarded in the ocean and was responsible for 36.38% of global oceanic plastic waste, studies showed.

In place of the banned products, Mayor Ebdane said the Botolan LGU encourages the use of paper bags, cartoon boxes, reusable cloth bags, eco-bags or native bayong, and oxo-biodegradable plastic bags for wet market items like fish and meat.

Under the said ordinance, business establishments and individuals violating the law will be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000 for the second; and P3,000 for the third, and/or imprisonment of not more than six months upon the discretion of the court, and for business establishments cancellation of license to operate for one year.

The Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), the local sanitary inspector, and barangay officials in their respective jurisdiction will monitor public compliance with the law.

With this measure, Mayor Ebdane urged all residents and the general public to comply with the ban and help in its enforcement. “This is not only for a clean and healthy environment today; this is also for the future of our children and everyone living in our community,” he said.

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