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Paranaque to ban plastic starting Jan.

STARTING January next year, single-use plastics will be banned in all commercial establishments in Paranaque City.

Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Ordinance No. 18-40 regulating the use, provision and sale of styrofoam, plastic bags and plastic for prepared food and beverage containers was supposed to be implemented June this year but was cancelled due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

This means that starting early next year, the city will no longer allow stores and restaurants to use plastic bags, and disposable straws and cutlery,” Olivarez said.

The mayor said not only is styrofoam bad for the environment, it may also harm humans and animals. Polystyrene styrofoam containers are usually used for drinks and food. It is a petroleum-based plastic with insulation properties.

Manufacturing styrofoam pollutes the air and creates large amounts of solid and liquid waste. In 1986, it was reported to be the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste, according to a US Environmental Protection Agency report.

As early as 2011, the city council has prohibited the use of plastic bags on dry goods and styrofoam on food items, according to the city councilors.

However, city councilors amended the ordinance after experiencing terrible flash floods in the city during rainy seasons due to disposed plastic bags and other non-biodegradable containers clogging the canals, creeks, rivers and other waterways.

Under the ordinance, the ban also includes plastic spoons and forks, cups and stirrers as well as polystyrene plates, cups, bowls and serving trays.

Only manufacturers in the city will be allowed to use such plastics for packaging, but supermarkets and public market vendors will be asked to use biodegradable plastic.

Paranaque will be plastic-free city by January,” said Olivarez, explaining that under the approved local law, violators will be fined P5,000 for every offense while on the third offense, violators will be shut down and their business license revoked for one year.

In 2015, the Philippines was found to be the third biggest source of plastic waste in oceans around the world, studies showed.

Parañaque joins Muntinlupa, Pasig, Makati, Las Pinas, Quezon City and Pasay in restricting plastic use in trade in place of a nationwide ban and regulation.