Single-use plastics and polystyrene foams are now strictly banned in Barangay Poblacion, Aborlan, particularly in the public market.
Poblacion barangay captain Dina Bermudez said Friday in an interview with Palawan News that they have started to regulate and control the use of disposable plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and polystyrene foams being used for packaging food this month.
She said the barangay council passed the ordinance last year, but they are only imposing it now because of past requests from business establishments in the Poblacion to give them enough time to adjust.
“Sobra na kasi ang kalat na dala ng plastic kaya nag-desisyon na talaga kami na i-implement ito. Lahat ng klase ng disposable plastic ay bawal na bawal na,” Bermudez said.
However, Bermudez said they gave temporary exemption to the vendors in the wet market section by allowing them to use one roll bag per customer for fish and meat.
She said that eventually, both vendors and customers must adopt to the ban because their only choice is strict enforcement of the barangay ordinance.
“Maliban dyan, sa wet market ay nagbigay kami ng exemption. Puwede gumamit ng isang roll bag lang, pero the rest ay bawal na talaga,” she said.
She said the plastic ban will prevent the barangay from dealing with more plastic waste problems.
Bermudez also said that they understand the challenges that the implementation of the plastic ban will entail, but it has to be done to minimize pollution in the environment.
“Nagsimula lang ang implementation halos ngayong buwan lang, pero last year pa approved ‘yang ordinansa. Kaya lang dahil sa pakiusap sa atin na huwag muna ipatupad hangga’t hindi pa nauubos ang mga stocks nila na plastic ay pinagbigyan sila. Pero ngayon ay nag-desisyon na talaga kami na hindi na puwede na pakiusap na lang palagi. Kaya nga ordinansa kasi may gusto tayong ipatupad,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez said establishments that will violate the ordinance will be fined P250 with community service for the first offense; P500 for the second violation and community service; and P1,000 for succeeding offenses.
Barangay Poblacion is the first barangay in Aborlan that is implementing the ban on plastic.
Bermudez also urged officials in other Aborlan barangays to pass the same ordinance for the total elimination of single-use plastics.
“Baka may susunod na rin na gumawa ng ordinansa kasi may mga humingi na ng kopya sa amin. Mabilis lang naman ang approval sa amin, tingin ko mahihirapan lang kunti sa implementation pero gagawin naman namin lahat para ma-implement ng maayos,” Bermudez said.