The Quezon City government passed two environment protection ordinances, the SP-2140 and SP-2103, which aims to effectively regulate the use of plastic bags in the city last April 2012. SP-2140 or the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance regulates the use of plastic bags and establishing an environmental fee for its use. While SP-2103 mandates all business establishments that uses plastic bags to display conspicuously in their stores a notice that encourages their customers to protect the environment by bringing their own recyclable/reusable bags.
As of now, an estimated volume of 719 cu.m or 45 10-wheeler truckload of plastic bags in QC waste stream every single day. The single-plastic bags and their typical disposal create significant litter problems that clog up canals and sewerage systems that cause floods. The free distribution of these plastic bags likewise result a throw-away attitude among the users.
To address that, the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance will enforce a Plastic Recovery System Fee that charges and collect a fix amount of two pesos (P2.00) per plastic bag used regardless of its size. The collected fee will be part of Green fund that is intended to fund various initiatives for the benefit of the environment.
Exempted from this ordinance is the use of plastic bags with no handles, holes or strings that are commonly used for wrapping unpacked fresh foods and cooked foods.
Reusable Bag users will be given incentives in a point system scheme, giving points that can later on be used for purchase, and Green Lane, a special counter for customers with reusable bags.
The Quezon City government hosted a forum last July 6, 2012 on policies and measures being implemented by the administration of Mayor Herbert Bautista to reduce the use of plastic bags, part of the efforts to reduce the volume of plastic waste produced by the city.
During the forum, highlights of the drafts of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the two ordinances were presented. The IRR drafts were formulated by the city’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management (EPWMD), Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), Market Development and Administration Department (MDAD), Barangay Operations Center (BOC) and the Liga ng mga Barangay. The same departments will also implement the IRR once approved. The EPWMD also serves as the lead agency for the task force on plastic bag reduction.
Also during the forum, a representative from the SM Group of Companies said that QC’s ordinance on plastic use regulation, is the most pro-active among similar ordinances by local government units.
QC government currently implements the ban in using plastic bags and Styrofoam in key city offices and hospitals particularly the QC City Hall complex, Novaliches District Center, Quezon City General Hospital and Novaliches District Hospital.