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MAASIN CITY, April 29 (PIA) -- The local government unit of Maasin City has strengthened efforts at spreading awareness for people to make use of recyclable or re-usable hand-carried bags where they can put consumer goods bought in the market and commercial stores.

Last week, the city LGU through the Office of General Services (OGS) put up vertical tarpaulins in public places around the city, the tarps displaying the main contents of City Ordinance 2019-122.

The regulation, also known as plastic bag regulation ordinance, “regulates the use and provision of single plastic bags as a packaging material in Maasin City and prescribing penalties hereof.”

Single-use sando cellophanes, as illustrated in the tarps information, education campaign (IEC), are disallowed, but eco bags provided by big, commercial stores are allowed for repeat marketing usage.

Sando-type cellophanes are often thrown after use since these can only be used once and can often end up as non-biodegradable garbage.

Other packing containers allowed under the ordinance to be brought during shopping are baskets, bayongs, recycled juice pouch, and oxo biodegradable plastic.

Ordinance 2019-122 designated two days in a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays, as “No Plastic Days,” and consumers buying essential goods in bakeries, food outlets, agrivet stores, among others, often receive their bought items in packaging materials made of paper.

Based on the ordinance, individual violators are fined P150 and confiscation of plastic bags for the first offense; P300 fine and confiscation of plastic bags for second offense and, for third and succeeding offenses, P600 fine and imprisonment of not more than six months upon discretion of the court.

Violating business establishments face the following graduated penalties: first offense – P1,000 fine and confiscation of plastic bags; second offense - P3,000 fine and confiscation of plastic bags; and third, succeeding offenses - P5,000 fine and imprisonment of not more than six months upon discretion of the court. (nbq/rgc/PIA8-Southern Leyte)