Sorsogon Bats for a Plastic-Free City
Sorsogon Bats for a Plastic-Free City

To comply with Executive Order No. 1, Series of 2016, the Environmental Advisory Committee through its lead implementing arm—- the City Environment & Natural Resources Office (CENRO), implemented the Sorsogon City Anti-Plastic Ordinance (SCAPO). Said Ordinance prohibits the use of plastic bags as packaging materials for goods bought in all commercial establishments operating within the territorial jurisdiction of Sorsogon City.

Specifically, the relevant provisions of SCAPO are as follows: 1) “No business establishment shall utilize plastic bags either secondary or primary packaging materials on dry goods or provide customers with plastic bags for purchased items”. (Sec.8); 2) “No business establishment shall utilize or provide plastic bags as secondary packaging materials on selected wet goods such as meat, fish, tahong, talaba, crabs, baloko and all other seashells. However, primary packaging materials is allowed.” (Sec. 8); and 3)”All business establishments are hereby encouraged to offer and sell all biodegradable container/packaging materials to the public such as but not limited to bags made of paper, bayong, cloth bags, “alat”, and other recyclable bags.” (Sec. 9)

The implementation schedule covers (3) phases, namely: 1) First Phase (July 6, 2016) –large establishments; 2) Second Phase (October 6, 2016 – Medium Establishments; and 3) Third Phase (January 6, 2017)- all establishments including small enterprises.

On July 6, 2016, the CENRO Monitoring Teams conducted ocular inspections in various large establishments in the city to ascertain the degree of compliance of said establishments to the Anti-Plastic Ordinance. It is encouraging to note that for the initial phase of implementation, thirty-two (32) of the  thirty-six (36) business establishments or eighty-nine (89%) percent have complied.The non-compliant  establishments were referred to the Legal Department for appropriate legal action.

Nevertheless, the City Government, through CENRO, continues to be relentless in its campaign to get rid of plastic and make Sorsogon a plastic-free city. (R. Gerona/T. Fortes)