By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lauded the initiative of the local government of Malay in Aklan to ban single-use plastics, especially in Boracay Island.
The Municipal Ordinance 386 prohibits the use of single-use or disposable plastic items by hotels, resorts, restaurants and establishments in the accommodation business.
DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny Antiporda said the ordinance was a welcome move on the part of Malay municipal government to augment government rehabilitation efforts in Boracay, which has been closed to tourists for six months until October 26.
Earlier in June, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said a ban on single-use plastics would help ease the garbage problem on the world-famous island and prevent further degradation of its environment.
“We commend the LGU of Malay for heeding the Secretary’s call by coming up with such ordinance,” Antiporda said.
“Single-use plastics, particularly those used in packaging, have been identified as a contributing factor to Boracay’s mounting waste problem, not only on land but in surrounding waters,” he added.
Antiporda said the single-use plastic ban is a major boost to government efforts to fight plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, wildlife, waterways and oceans, and the environment.
It covers disposable plastic products like toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, shaving razors, shower caps, sachets of shampoo or conditioner, liquid body soaps, combs, bottled water, straws, spoons, forks, knives, and sachets of coffee, sugar and creamer.
“The DENR is willing to provide Malay with any assistance in the implementation of this ban and all its other programs to manage solid waste,” Antiporda said.
“Malay can become a model not only for Aklan or the entire Panay Island, but also to other LGUs with ecotourism sites,” he added.
As eco-friendly alternatives, establishments are encouraged to use items such as reusable or refillable dispensers and metal utensils.
The penalties for violators are as follows: stern warning and a fine of P2,000 for first offense; confiscation of single-use plastics and a fine of P2,500 for second offense; and cancellation of business permit to operate for third offense.