Manila councilor pushes for plastic bag ban

This is the first I’ve heard of a total ban on plastic bags being proposed, and it’s great that local government officials are really working for this!

Under Councilor Numero Lim’s proposed ordinance, all supermarkets, grocery stores and other retail business establishments should use paper bags, bayong (woven grass or buri bags) and other biodegradable containers for packaging dry goods and grocery items.

Lim said the establishments could also provide sturdier bags like those made of cheesecloth (katsa) to regular customers who could use them repeatedly. Should some firms insist on using plastic bags, they could opt for the biodegradable type, he added.

“We’ll introduce a plastic bag which disintegrates after six months. These can be used for goods sold in the public market’s wet section like meat, fish and vegetables,” he explained.

It would be a load of help to the country’s solid waste situation if plastic bag use is significantly reduced. But it would take a whole lot of convincing before ordinary people, and not just the supermarkets and stores, start rejecting plastic bags though; for most people, plastic bags are cheap, worry-free ways to carry everything. At the same time, it won’t be easy to monitor plastic bag use throughout the city…unless the manufacture of these items itself is banned too?

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