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Daet clamps down on single-use plastics, promotes reusable bags

By Rosalita Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte --- Twelve vendors were apprehended in the municipality of Daet in Camarines Norte for violating a local ordinance that prohibits the use of single-use plastics.

According to Ronaldo Paguirigan of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of Daet the vendors violated the “no plastic bag policy’ spelled out in the Municipal Environmental Code which took effect in 2013.

The municipality has started to strictly implement the ordinance as a parallel move to its promotion of the use of reusable bags, popularly known locally as eco bags.

Paguirigan said that in their recent monitoring, 50 percent of consumers and business establishments are now using eco bags in markets.

Paguirigan expressed optimism that this year’s strict implementation will eventually lead to the elimination of the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags.

The campaign has so far elicited support from the public.

A storekeeper displays a “bring your eco bag” placard in support to “no plastic policy” of the municipal government of Daet. (Photo from MENRO, LGU-Daet)

Department of Science and Technology trains the personnel of Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of San Vicente on the use of plastic shredder and glass crusher for wastes conversion.

Vicky Yiu, manager of Allan Marc Office and School Supplies, supports the “no plastic policy” implementation.

“Para din sa ating environment, ang mga plastic ay matagal matunaw (It’s in our best interest to stop using plastic because plastics pollute our environment and they take a long time to dissolve),” she said.

“Ang plastic ay bumabara sa mga kanal na nagdudulot ng pagbaha sa ilang lugar ng bayan ng Daet (Plastic clogs drains causing flooding in some areas of Daet town),” said Glenda Villones, a long time resident of Daet.

“Pabor ako sa batas dahil mas mura ang bio-degradable plastic na gagamitin namin sa pambalot ng karne na makakabawas sa aming gastos” ( I am in favor of the law because the bio-degradable plastic that we will use to wrap meat will be cheaper which will reduce our cost),” according to meat seller Rico Abainza of Silva Meat Shop.

The local government has enlisted the help of 90 personnel, including barangay officials, to ensure strict compliance with the “no plastic policy” and promote the use of biodegradable bags when purchasing products.

Individuals who violate the policy will face a penalty of P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense, and P1,500 for the third offense.

Meanwhile, commercial establishments will be fined P1,500 for the first offense, P2,500 for the second offense, and risk having their license to operate canceled for the third offense.

Meanwhile, the municipal government of San Vicente has come up with an artistic solution to reduce plastic waste, broken glass and junk food packets that could otherwise clog waterways and endanger ecosystems.

These waste items will be upcycled into chairs and other functional objects.

Personnel of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) recently underwent training conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on the use of a machine that converts plastic and glass into usable products.

As part of the program, DOST provided a grant of almost P1.15 million to San Vicente, which enabled the local government unit (LGU) to purchase a plastic shredder and a glass crusher.

The plastic shredder and glass crusher will be used to minimize the space covered by the large quantity of plastic and glass in the Residual Containment Area (RCA).

MENRO personnel will be converting plastic waste into useful sellable products like tables and chairs.

They will also shred and pulverize glass , which can be used as aggregates and mixed with sand, gravel, and cement for concreting of pavement or any construction purposes. They can also produce hollow blocks and bricks.

San Vicente’s prospective buyers and customers are the community, schools, business owners of landscape and plant nurseries, and building constructors.

Eco bricks made from plastic sachets can be a potential material for landscaping and pave buildings for beautification purposes.

The income generated using the equipment can be used for the maintenance of MENRO’s sub-office inside its Material Recovery Facility.

The project would decrease the maintenance and management costs of RCA, which in turn will reduce the budget of San Vicente.

The new technology of using plastic shredder and glass crusher will address the problem of the increasing volume of waste in the LGU’s waste management.

Based on a waste and analysis study, 46 percent of the domestic waste is composed of residuals and recyclables or equivalent to an average of one ton per day, which in the long run will be a big problem in the LGU’s waste management.

San Vicente is a fifth-class municipality with a total population of 12,579 and composed of nine barangays.

The project is part of the DOST’s Community Empowerment Through Science and Technology (CEST) program under the Environmental Protection entry point wherein the focus is on fostering sustainable practices and technology utilization in environmental preservation.

The CEST project is named “Empowering the Municipality of San Vicente through completion of CEST 5 Entry Points” and is a partnership between DOST Bicol and LGU of San Vicente.

The partnership has been operationalized through a memorandum of understanding earlier signed between Mayor Jhoanna Ong and DOST Regional Director Rommel Serrano. (PIA 5/Camarines Norte)


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