Quezon City News
Belmonte delays ban on single-use plastics to July 1
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte agreed to delay the ban on single-use plastics for dine-in purposes in local restaurants and hotels to July 1, 2020, from the previous February 15, 2020 deadline.
However, Belmonte warned that the full force of the law will be imposed on non-complying establishments.
Upon the advice of Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) head Andrea Villaroman, Belmonte agreed to the deferment in the implementation of Ordinance No. SP-2876, S-2019 due to “needed logistical adjustments” on the part of stakeholders.
“We understand the situation and concerns of the establishments so we will give them ample time to comply,” said Belmonte.
But “after that, it will be all systems go for the implementation of the ordinance,” she added.
Introduced by District I Councilor Dorothy Delarmente and co-introduced by 35 other councilors from the city’s six districts, Ordinance No. 2876 prohibits the distribution and/or use of single-use plastics/disposable materials, including cutlery for dine-in purposes, in all hotels and restaurants in Quezon City.
The ban covers the use of throw-away plates, spoons, forks, cups, and other plastic and paper disposables
Villaroman made the recommendation to Belmonte following a series of dialogues with stakeholders, including restaurants, fast food chains, and hotels.
The stakeholders expressed their commitment to abide by the ordinance but raised several concerns in terms of food safety and hygiene, logistical concerns and requirements, and other issues regarding hotel and restaurant operations.
Villaroman issued the recommendation for the postponement of the ordinance’s implementation provided that stakeholders would come up with a transition plan detailing concrete steps to be undertaken to comply with the said regulation.
She said the plan, to be submitted within thirty days from Feb. 15, will include the introduction of recovery and recycling mechanisms for single-use plastics/disposable materials.
The transition plan should also cover the hotel and restaurants’ amenities indicating the hotel’s and restaurant’s timeline for procurement and attaching the industry standards and hotel/restaurant international regulations as justification for the amenities without alternatives due to sanitation concerns. It shall also include additional details on single-use plastic/disposable materials used by restaurants/hotels for hygienic and food safety purposes and its appropriate recovery/recycling mechanisms,” said Villaroman.
The EPWMD is also constantly coordinating with the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) to develop the recovery and recycling mechanisms for residual plastics and disposable materials, which can address those single-use wastes not covered by the ordinance.
Villaroman also reported that the implementation of the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance, which started last Jan. 1, 2020, is being followed by most of the relevant retailers.
“Personnel of the Climate Change team of this Department will be deputized for them to issue notices of violation or environmental violation tickets,” she said.
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