|Implementing Rules and Regulations of QC Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance|
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, signed the Implementing Rules and Regulation for Ordinance No. SP-2140 or the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance on September 10.
The Plastic Bag Reduction Task Force was created to ensure the successful implementation of the ordinance and it’s IRR. Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department, headed by Frederika Rentoy, will be the lead agency of the Task Force. Other members of the Task Force are the Liga ng mga Barangay, Market Development and Administration Department (MDAD), Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) and Barangay Operation Center (BOC).
Stated on the IRR, Relevant Retailers, the lead implementers of the ordinance, pertains to establishments located within the city and are categorized into two types: Type 1 are the establishments under the jurisdiction of BPLO such as shopping malls, supermarkets, department stores, fast food chains, food stalls, etc while Type 2 are the establishments under the jurisdiction of MDAD namely wet and dry markets, talipapa, tiangge, hawkers, etc.
For the recovery purposes of plastic carryout bags from the water stream, Type 1 retailers will charge consumers not using a reusable bag a fixed Plastic Recovery System Fee of P2.00 for every plastic carryout bag that will be given at the point of sale. The fee will only be waived for customers who redeem clean, dry and folded used plastic bag of any type, brand or size in exchange for a new plastic bag. The Plastic Recovery System Fee should be reflected in the customer’s transaction receipt to serve as a reminder that they can save money by using a reusable bag or if they bring a used plastic bag in exchange for a new one.
However, Type 1 retailers are prohibited to distribute plastic bag with lower than the regulated minimum thickness of 15 microns to minimize the circulation of thin plastic bags which have high probability of breakdown that contaminates soil and marine fauna.
To encourage consumers to use reusable bags and/or redemption of used “Plastic bags”, Type 1 retailers are instructed to formulate appropriate incentives system which may include, but not limited to, point system scheme that give points to reusable bag patrons that can later be used for consumption and having “Green lane”, special cash counters that specifically serve customers using reusable bags and/or redeeming used plastic carryout bags.
Stall owners/ lessees of Type 2 Relevant Retailers will not be allowed to directly distribute plastic carryout bags at the point of sale. They may only distribute those plastic bags with no handles, holes or strings (e.g. “labo” plastic) for wrapping unpacked fresh foods and cooked food as it is justified on the grounds of public hygiene. Fresh foods pertain to wet products such as pork, beef, chicken, fish and other seafood and marine products. Other re-packed products such as cooking oil, soy sauce, vinegar, refreshments (i.e. palamig), etc are likewise exempted.
The collected Plastic Recovery System Fee shall be earmarked for a green fund that shall be maintained by the Type 1 retailers to fund environmentally beneficial projects that must be coordinated and/or done in partnership with EPWMD.
The ordinance, nevertheless, stresses that the imposition of the P2.00 fee is not to generate funds but to change consumer’s mindless consumption of plastic bags to a lifestyle anchored on the 3Rs of Waste Management: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
On the recovery and recycling mechanism of the ordinance, EPWMD will provide a list of relevant recyclers and waste markets to all stores that will buy used plastic bags to ensure that there will be enough venues where plastic bags and other recyclable materials may be redeemed.
Any establishment that violates the provisions of the ordinance and its IRR shall be charged with infraction and shall be penalized of a fine not exceeding P1,000.00 for the first offense, a fine not exceeding P3,000.00 for the second offense and a fine not exceeding P5,000.00 and cancellation of business permit for the third offense.
For more information or clarification, contact the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) at telephone numbers 4447272 local 8348 and 8349.