THE no plastic straw and stirrer policy is being pushed in La Trinidad, Benguet.
During the Municipal Council regular meeting on August 20, the proposed "La Trinidad Plastic Straw and Stirrer Ban Ordinance," authored by Councilor John Botiwey and co-authored by Councilor Jayson Dangwa, was passed on first reading.
Under the proposed law, food establishments that serve beverages should be barred from giving consumers any single-use straw and stirrer made of plastic or any non-biodegradable material.
"Glass, stainless steel, wood, bamboo and paper or other biodegradable and eco-friendly materials that come in straw or stirrer are much better alternative to plastic. These are better not only for the health but the environment," the measure stated.
In the proposed measure, food establishments are urged to use glass, stainless steel, wood, bamboo and paper and eco-friendly beverage straws and stirrers, and all food service establishments are directed to prominently display signs informing the customers of the policy.
Violators will face P1,000 for first offense, P1,500 and suspension of permit to operate for second offense, and P2,500 and imprisonment of 30 days or cancellation of permit for third offense.
The town councilors said the Department of Trade and Industry is enjoined to conduct a feasibility study of providing alternative beverage straw and stirrer products to be utilized, while the Department of Science and Technology, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Agriculture are urged to provide programs where livelihood projects will be implemented for the manufacture and distribution of straw and stirrer products.
The Business Permits and Licensing Office, Municipal Health Services and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office are tasked for further monitoring, apprehension and implementation of the ordinance.
All business establishments and individuals are given six months moratorium to comply with the ordinance from the date of its approval, while a conduct of massive information education campaign will be made on the promotion of alternative beverage straw and stirrer products.
"Studies show that millions of plastic straws and stirrers are used each year by consumers, many come from fast food restaurants are used in soda, coffee, water and juice through plastic straws or sipping stirrers which are not recommended," the proposed measure stated.