LONDON, May 29, 2015 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Plastic waste is widely blamed for contributing to flooding in many Philippine cities. For this reason their local government units (LGUs) have banned the use of plastic in their respective municipalities for the past few years.
Plastic Bags Ban in Place in Philippines
The main reason for banning plastic, particularly plastic bags, is because it ends up as litter and makes its way to landfills and blocks drainage systems, causing flooding. It also is well known that plastic takes decades to decompose and damages marine life when dumped into the sea. Therefore, House Bill 4840 (Plastic Bag Regulation Act of 2011) has been approved and enacted by the House of Representatives of the Philippines to regulate the use of plastic bags. The bill also introduces a recovery system to reduce plastic waste in the environment, landfills and waterways. The bill restricts the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in supermarkets, department stores and other commercial establishments.
Biodegradable Plastic Bags Must Be Labeled
According to the House Bill 4840, a logo shall be printed or displayed on the bag showing it is made from biodegradable plastic including the following clear and legible text - “Please return to any store for recycling”. The bill also mandates the phase out of non-biodegradable plastic bags within three years and the placement of a plastic bag recovery bin at each store or cluster of stores. The in-store recovery program is expected to provide customers the opportunity to return used plastic bags.
Philippines Regulations Enforced Locally
Over the past few years, LGUs in the Philippines have been gradually passing similar ordinances banning or regulating the use of plastic bags. LGUs are given the primary responsibility in the effort to decrease the percentage of plastic bag waste produced within their respective jurisdictions. They are also primarily responsible for the enforcement of the prohibitions in this Act and for monitoring the collection of recyclable used plastic bags by manufacturers.
Violators are fined P100,000 (Philippine pesos), P250,000, and P500,000 for the first, second, and third offenses respectively. Imprisonment and suspension or cancellations of business permits are at the discretion of the court after a business has violated the regulation several times.
House of Representatives – Press Releases (http://www.congress.gov.ph/press/details.php?pressid=5390)
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