It's time to bring out the "bayongs" for some Makati residents.
This, as the country's financial district ordered the implementation of a partial ban on plastic packaging starting next week.
Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr. has issued the executive order amending an earlier plastic bag ban. The new ban aims to "strengthen our citywide advocacy for the use of environment-friendly packaging."
"We have amended the guidelines previously issued to include a clear definition of primary and secondary packaging materials. We have also identified products packaged in plastic material that need to be exempted from the ban for the time being, since an acceptable alternative packaging is not yet available," Binay said in a press statement.
Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Taguig, and Quezon City have earlier ordered plastic ban.
In Makati, exempted from the ban are plastic bottles used for "water, iced tea, cooking oil, alcohol, mayonnaise, jelly, peanut butter, coco jam, and the like." Plastic sachets for shampoos, conditioners, soap, noodles, and cigarettes are also exempted from the ban, as are plastic bags used as primary packaging for wet goods.
Under Binay's executive order, "first-level product packaging that contains the item sold" fall under primary packaging.
Secondary packaging includes plastic bags used to hold wet goods that already have primary packaging, "usually for the convenience of the handler or customer."
The ban on plastic packaging will be implemented in supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls, department stores, restaurants, fast food chains, and convenience stores in Makati.
Under the ban, establishments are prohibited from selling, using, and distributing plastic bags as packaging for dry goods and as secondary packaging for wet goods. The use of styrofoam containers is also banned. Instead, establishments are expected to use paper, cloth, or woven bags which they can provide to customers either free or for a fee.
The city order requires establishments and barangay halls to place plastic bag recovery bins where people can leave plastic bags for recycling or disposal.
"Through these policies, we aim to encourage the use of biodegradable or recyclable plastic bags among business establishments and consumers alike," Binay said.
People who violate the ban will be fined P1,000 or imprisoned for from five days to 30 days while the establishment will be fined P5,000 or imprisonment for a month to a year. They could also lose their business permit.
Establishments have a year from next week to dispose of all remaining stocks of plastic bags and styrofoam packaging and must report how many they still have left each quarter.