Starting at the end of June this year, Davao implemented a ban on using non-biodegradable plastic bags. All stores are now being watched if they are using the said plastics. Most department stores/malls have days that they would use paper bags. SM mall they do during Wednesday, the Abreeza during Friday. My only concerns on the SM paper bags it is so thin that even if they double it, it is still not good. If using paper bags, they have to do something first before using that. I don’t think its worth using. Why not use the biodegradable instead of the thin paper bags. Not worth it though for me.
We also go to the public market, particularly Bankerohan. We do our shopping for our produce and fish there. We heard from the market stall vendors that they are not too happy with the biodegradable plastic. They said it cost them a lot to buy one plastic. Before, if you buy fish or meat from the vendors, they would double the plastic. Now they would not do it, they said the biodegradable is more expensive. They don’t like it too that the new plastic now would decompose if it stays too long especially under the hot weather.
Good thing that it will decompose since people here just throwing it all over the place. Seeing the plastics thrown on the side of the road really makes you angry. The paid sweepers of the city can’t keep up with it. I remember when we used to live in Marfori. Early morning I saw those city people sweeping the pavement early in the morning, after the busy hour on the street that area where they were sweeping you can already see plastics, cigarette butts and other stuff on the ground. Just not a good thing to see. Luckily those sweepers came sweeping the area a few times a day. I wished people here were disciplined at the early age of throwing their garbage at the proper place. Davao sometimes has those laws that you don’t just throw your garbage anywhere. But people know how to manipulate the system and they know where to throw and when.
They are also banning the usage of polystyrene foam. After the ban, one night we want to order some food from one of the restaurants just near our house. So I called up the restaurant and I placed my order. When I told them that its TO GO, they would not take my order then, because they said they don’t have containers for take out. So I asked the cashier if I will bring my own container there would they take my order then? They said absolutely. So I order my food and just brought my own container there. It worked out good then. It could be a pain in the neck but hey it’s good for the environment. We will try to help out what we can for the sake of good health.
Have to follow the rules here. I guess offenders will pay a fine and maybe attend some community service. If you commit a lot of times they will put you to jail. You don’t want to be in jail here for sure.
If you are living in other part of the Philippines, is it also strictly biodegradable plastic in your area? Let us know so that people that reads here know already if they ever visit your place.
Stay safe. Cheers!
Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.