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Councilor: Planned single-use plastics ordinance targeted this year

A lawmaker aims to finish the draft ordinance banning single-use plastics in the city this year.

Councilor Diosdado Mahipus, Jr., committee chair on environment, said the ordinance will likely pass the plenary this year.

“It is very possible because we already conducted several committee hearings, and we have tried to contact everybody so that their side will be heard,” he said in an interview.

In a recent press conference, the Interface Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) in a statement said that the process for the ordinance banning single-use plastics is long overdue.

Mahipus said he wanted to make sure that all the stakeholders are on board to increase the success of the implementation.

“I have known some ordinances that were already enacted, but there are conflicts because of the lack of cooperation from some sectors or a community,” he said.
“We have to see to it that the ordinance will be implementable because of the cooperation of everybody,” he added.

In one of the committee hearings, Mahipus said they already heard the sentiments of some recyclers in the city.

“They have told me that banning of single use plastic cups, stirrers, cutleries, leads, poses no substanstantial effect on their operation, but they are concerned more of the banning of plastic grocery carry bags,” he said.

“They told me they are the ones supplying the city the plastic bags, and they have made those plastic bags out of recycled post-consumer products, which include bottle shampoos, detergent wrappers, and those used for household,” he said.

The recyclers said that the declining demand for plastic bags would negatively impact the post-consumer products. Instead of being recycled, they would end up in the landfill.

Mahipus said they are taking the inputs of the recyclers and try to integrate them into the planned ordinance. But the committee on environment will still hold more public hearings and invite more resource speakers for a more well-rounded law.

“We wanted to hear the business sector, including the supermarket operators and some other recyclers. We want to know the effect of banning the single use of plastic to the communities and business operation. We will also invite environmental groups on this matter,” he said.

“As a policymaker, we have to study the socio-economic impact of our ordinances, meaning we have to get more information on the ground so as to know how the community will react and accept our ordinance,” he added.
He also said that he is still deciding whether to create a single ordinance for each matter, specifically the banning of single-use of plastics, pet bottles, and grocery bags, or just create an all-in-one ordinance which tackles all mentioned matters.

He also said that he will dig in more to some information regarding the implementation of the said banning of plastics. He said that he will study further on how some countries and places all around the globe, which advocates for the same intention, implemented the law successfully.

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