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Philippines city to ban use of plastic bags in 2013

Makati, a city in the Philippines, will enforce a ban on the use of plastic bags and non-biodegradable materials, beginning January 2013. The new law will prohibit businesses from selling, using or distributing plastic bags.

The government is set to deploy 45 inspection teams from the Plastic Monitoring Task Force (PMTF) to conduct random checks on various business establishments ahead of the ban next year.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay told that the monitoring teams will hit the ground running to achieve the objective of zero inventory of non-biodegradable materials in target establishments by the end of this year.

Makati Department of Environmental Services (DES) chief Danilo Villas said the inspection teams will consist of five members, comprising each from the Makati Health Department Sanitation Division, Business Permits Office, Makati Action Center, Liga ng mga Barangay, and the DES.

According to Villas, about 19 teams will be deployed alone to check businesses in District 1, six teams in District 2, and 20 teams in six villages.

According to the new law, biodegradable packaging materials, woven native bags and other similar materials can be used in place of plastic bags. For proper collection, transportation, recycling and disposal of plastic bags that are currently used by people, the city authorities said that it would link up with junk operators.