MEMBERS of the committee on health and sanitation of the Benguet Provincial Board has given a favorable review on the ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags in Bokod.
The ordinance cover public and private markets, grocery stores, retail outlets or stores, bakeries, restaurants, canteens, eateries or fast food outlets, vegetable stalls, recreation centers, catering services, inns, business establishments, institutions comprised of private or public schools, commercial stalls, food kiosk, ambulant vendors, residential, government offices.
“Bokod in its desire to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of plastic materials and styro foam as packing materials and use of food preparation, we would like to encourage the utilization of alternative packaging materials such as native baskets, woven bags or bayong, cloth bags (katsa of similar cloth), reusable plastic or tin containers, paper bags and other materials such as banana leaves and taro leaves,” the ordinance said.
“Other wet goods that are pre-contained in plastic pouches, wraps or bags are preferably to be contained in customer supplied re-usable hard plastic containers,” it added.
Exemption is given to the farmers delivering their products outside the municipality, however, they are encouraged to use biodegradable or reusable plastics, reusable alternative bagging products and containers.
Prohibited acts include selling of styro foam as container for goods, disposing plastic wastes to streets, canals, other different bodies of water and public places.
The ordinance added sacks and other containers made of biodegradable materials should be re-used as garbage bags.
Promotion of eco-bags and other environment friendly materials, recyclable and alternative packaging are being pushed as business establishments are urged to post a signage that read “Parit e pan usal ni plastic ono cellophane tan Styrofoam” (The use of plastic, cellophane and styro foam is prohibited).
The public is also being urged to bring their own appropriate containers, reusable bags, eco bags and alternative bagging containers when going to the market.
Upon the approval of the ordinance, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office is tasked to lead the information education campaign of the ordinance.
Penalties include a fine of P500 for first offense, P1,000 for second offense and P1,500 for third offense and in the case of business establishment cancellation of its license to operate for one year.