07 January 2013

Subic issues ban on plastics in retail establishments

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) through its Ecology Center has implemented the “no plastic” policy applicable to retail establishments inside the Subic Bay Freeport zone.

In a memorandum issued by the Ecology Center dated December 27, 2012, the SBMA said that no retail establishment in the Subic Bay Freeport shall provide to any customer at the point of sale plastic bags as packaging material on dry goods. Instead, a reusable bag or the brown paper bag shall be used or provided.

The policy took effect on January 1.

It added that retail establishments dealing with wet goods may use plastic materials as primary packaging material only.

However, alternative primary packaging materials, such as old newspapers, scrap papers, banana leaves, reusable microwaveable containers, among others shall be used whenever possible.

Styrofoam and other similar materials as containers for food, produce and other products have also been banned.

“We hope that the neighboring communities around the Freeport can implement the same policy, besides it will be nice for people to back to the habit of using brown paper bag, reusable bags or even the trusty bayong instead of using plastic and other non-biodegradable materials,” said Angel Bagaloyos of the SBMA’s Ecology Center.

Bagaloyos explained that anyone caught using plastic or other banned materials will be meted with penalties ranging from a simple warning for the first offense or a fine of P5,000 for the second offense and a P10,000-fine and suspension of operation for the third and final offense. (Anthony Bayarong, Manila Times)