Dec 2, 2019

Quezon City, one of the first few cities to implement the payment-for-plastic-bag scheme, is moving to rid single-use plastic in a new ordinance set to take effect in the first quarter of 2020.

Mayor Joy Belmonte announced the strengthening of a measure signed October this year, which will effectively purge plastic bags from supermarkets, department stores, and pharmacies. Instead of opting to pay two pesos, the city admin originally planned to penalize plastic users P10, but businesses suggested getting rid of the option altogether.

Another new legislation, City Ordinance No. SP-2876, will ban single-use plastic and paper utensils starting February 2020 to give businesses ample transition time.

Plastic “labo” pictured here containing fresh produce is the lone exemption to the ban. Photo courtesy of Quezon City Government Facebook page

The ordinance, however, only covers cups, plates, straws, coffee stirrers, condiment cups and packets, and Styrofoam packaging used by dine-in customers. Plastic “labo” or the thin translucent bag used to wrap fresh and cooked food, however, is exempted.

Apart from fast food restaurants and coffee shops, the ordinance will also prohibit hotels from distributing soap, shampoo, and similar hygienic items in sachets or single-use containers.

Non-compliance by businesses will be met with a fine ranging from P1,000 for the first offense up to P5,000 for third-time offenders. Second-time violators will be issued a cease-and-desist order, while a third offense is equivalent to business permit revocation.

According to the Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department, 16 cubic meters or one truckload of plastic bags are collected every day, while 10 cubic meters or a mini dump truck’s worth of plastic cutlery is thrown out daily.


Header photo courtesy of

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