ARE business establishments and consumers ready for a single-use plastic-free Cebu City?
This is what the Cebu City Council’s committee on environment wants to find out before it deliberates on a proposed ordinance that seeks to ban single-use plastics in the city.
In a committee report, Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the environment committee, said they welcome the positive impact of the proposed measure on the environment.
But they also want to know what its impact will be on the business owners and end users during a public hearing scheduled on April 30.
Representatives of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, manufacturers and retailers of plastic, groceries, supermarkets, public markets, restaurants, fast food chains and department stores, among others, were invited to attend the hearing.
Councilors Raymond Garcia and Eduardo Rama proposed the “Ordinance providing for the phase-out of single use plastic products within the territorial jurisdiction of Cebu City and for other purposes.”
Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are those that can be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled, according to plasticfreechallenge.org.
If the ordinance is approved, the sale of plastic bags, straws, styrofoam, coffee stirrers, soda and water containers and other plastic food packaging will be prohibited in Cebu City.
The proponents hope to stop plastic pollution, which clogs drainage systems, rivers and other bodies of water.
During the clean-up activities of the City’s Task Force Baha headed by Guardo, different kinds of plastics, mostly plastic water bottles, were removed from drainage systems.
In the proposed ordinance, the councilors cited a report naming the Philippines as the third largest contributor to plastic pollution in Southeast Asia.
Plastic, they said, will not disintegrate even after 100 years.
At present, the City is implementing an ordinance that bans the use of plastics every Wednesday and Saturday.
This is partly in compliance with Section 2 of Republic Act 9003, which encourages the public to help implement the integrated, comprehensive, ecological waste management program. (From PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, LRC)