The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Davao aims to fully implement by 2022 the No to Single-Use Plastics Ordinance of 2021, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of single-use plastics in the city.

Orly Limpangog, one of the Barangay Monitoring Assistants of the Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro-Davao), said although the city ordinance was approved last May 2021, there was no directive yet from the city mayor’s office to fully implement the ordinance due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

However, he said they are looking into strictly implementing the ordinance next year during the renewal of business permits. Some businesses may have to apply for a special permit to sell, distribute, and use single-use plastics when they renew their business permits.

“Naay suggestion ang atoang city hall na karong renewal sa business permit, isabay na ang strict implementation saatoang [No to] single use plastic [Ordinance],” said Limpangog.

(There was a suggestion from the City Government that during the renewal of business permits, we will start implementing some of the provisions of the ordinance.)

The city ordinance states that establishments need to apply and pay a fee of P10,000 annually for a Special Permit to legally sell, distribute, and use single-use plastics.

The city ordinance bans the use of several single-use plastics like plastic cups, sachets, plates, utensils, straws, “clamshell” food containers, coffee stirrers, and all non-microwavable plastics, along with plastic materials such as gloves, balloons, and balloon sticks.

Limpangog said the City Government is promoting the use of alternatives to single-use plastics like wooden utensils and reusable plates.

“Naa na bamboo na gipang-innovate nato so kato na lang atong gamiton,” he said.

(Some are using disposable utensils made of bamboo, some businesses could also use that for now.)

As part of their education campaign, he said the City has already visited barangays to educate and inform residents about the ordinance.

Meanwhile, SM Malls partnered with the City Government for the Plastic Waste Collection program. Through the program, Dabwenyos can bring their plastic wastes to the collection booth stationed at the parking area of SM City Davao starting December 1, 2021.

Lester R. Tantoco, mall manager of SM City Davao, said the collected plastic waste will be brought to a partner recycling company to be made into plastic furniture, which can be donated to schools and barangays.

Limpangog hopes that the plastic collection program will encourage people to reduce their dependence on single-use plastics.