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Mayor backs amendment of plastic ordinance to allow environment-friendly technology

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan Wednesday expressed support to the proposed amendment of the Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Baguio City Ordinance to permit the use of new technology plastic products that are certified biodegradable and safe to the environment.

"There is a need to amend the ordinance to allow the use of plastic materials that are proven to be not hazardous to the environment. I believe that with the advancement of technology, there are those materials that will pass this requirement," the mayor said.

The mayor said the City should also do its best to allay the inconvenience caused by the plastic prohibition thus any opportunity that would allow eco-friendly types of plastic must be grabbed.

Moreover he said reliance on the use of paper materials as alternative to plastic must also be discouraged because of its equally devastating effect on the environment.

Ordinance No. 36-2017 imposes a total ban on styrofoam and plastic materials in the City including both the non-biodegradable and non-biodegradable types.

This will be fully implemented in September after the City granted the request of the business sector to allow them to dispose their stocks of sando bags.

Earlier, the oversight committee monitoring the implementation of the measure headed by action officer City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana last May recommended to the City Council the recasting the measure based on the inputs gathered from the stakeholders during public consultations.

The recommendations however did not include allowing new plastic technologies.

In fact, one of the suggested amendments was to disallow the use of oxo-biodegradable and bio-plastics or vegetable or starch-based plastic bags "because the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) code is not a guarantee that these are properly monitored by the Depts. Of Health and Science and Technology."

Among the proposed amendments are the inclusion of residences in the coverage of the ordinance and the inclusion of single use plastic cups, drinking straws, plastic stirrers, cling wrap and the like as among the prohibited materials as these are also non-recyclable items; allowing the use of food grade plastics for primary packaging for factory or company packaged products to preserve the shelf life of food items and avoid damage to merchandises as well as the use of polyethylene, polypropylene (PP) heavy duty, thick, microwave safe, recyclable, washable, reusable, manufactured containers, multi-use type of plastic bags as primary and secondary packaging materials or containers.

They also proposed disallowing the use of non-food grade plastic materials for primary packaging for repacking factory or company packaged products as well as garbage bags (colored or not) as garbage receptacle or containers for solid waste materials.

Other proposed amendments are to encourage customers to: secure food grade PP reusable, recyclable, multi-use plastic bags and containers when buying; decline plastic wrappers or small plastic bags when buying dry small items like ballpens, CD, candies and the like; not to procure condiments packed in non-food grade plastic materials like patis, soy sauce etc. and toiletries and instead opt for bulk buying or if not possible, bring appropriate containers like bottles for such; packaging industries to develop more environmentally-friendly containers; and parents to use reusable and washable containers and utensils for baon.

They also recommended alternatives for Styrofoam like the wax or aluminum coated boxes, cups and plates; for plastic stirrers, popsicle sticks will do; and for plastic straws, a paper straw coated with non-toxic resin. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

 
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ADVISORY

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS 2017

STATEMENT IN REPLY TO THE PUBLISHED OPEN LETTER OF BCDA PRESIDENT and CEO ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS
2014

Speech Delivered by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan during the Cordillera Month Closing Ceremony
July 26 SLU-BC

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