Olongapo City bans plastic, styrofoam

The use and sale of plastic bags and styrofoam food packaging products is now prohibited in Olongapo City, as part of the city government’s effort to protect the environment and flood mitigation program.

“Plastic bags and styrofoam are among the top trash collected during our yearly citywide cleanup, also one of the main reasons why our drainage clogs up. That is why we opted to ban plastic in the city,” Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino said.

He added that it is also the city’s way to help protect and care for the environment.

“We also need the help of the residents by informing those still using plastic bags or styro about the ban. Or they can report directly to ny office,” the mayor added.

According to Paulino, the ban will not only be beneficial to the city, but to the children.

Mayor Paulino also formed a task force composed of selected personnel from the local government to monitor and implement the said ban.

“We should all be members of the task force,” Paulino said.

The ban on plastic bags and styrofoam started January 1, 2017 after a gradual implementation last year.

Under City Ordinance No. 11 Series of 2015 violators will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P5,000 plus cancelation of business permit for the third offense.

The ban started 3rd quarter last year for one day during Wednesday, followed by a two-day ban during the 4th quarter of 2016 with a two-day ban every Wednesday and Saturday.

The ordinance encourages residents to use recyclable bags, bayongs, eco bags, biodegradable plastic, paper cups and paper food container as replacement for the banned material.

Mayor Paulino further explained that the gradual implementation of the ban last year was the request of the establishment since they have already stocked on plastic bags for their use.

“But now the honeymoon period is over, we need to adhere to the law and I am very positive that we can achieve this goal by helping each other,” Paulino said. (Dante M. Salvana)

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