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A study on the preliminary impacts of City Ordinance 2009-370 banning/regulating the use

of plastic bags in Antipolo City


By
Grace P Sapuay
President
Solid Waste Management Association of the Philippines
Abstract

Among the prevalent local and national issues on solid waste management is the burgeoning
problem of plastic litter all over the country. Local governments as well as national legislative bodies are
seeking ways to minimize if not to eliminate plastics in solid waste. Recently, Antipolo City implemented
a local ordinance regulating/banning the use of plastic bags in the commercial sector. In order to find out
the effectiveness of such ordinance in bringing about desired behavioural change a survey was undertaken
in the main wet and dry public market of Antipolo City. The survey hoped to determine the initial effects
of the ban on the solid waste situation in the city and on the attitudes of the citizens in the community
towards the ban and towards the environment. The data gathered survey was analyzed using the Predictive
Analysis Software (PASW) Statistics (SPSS version 18). The results indicated positive impact of the ban
on the use of plastic bags on solid waste situation of the city as well as on the attitude and behaviour of the
constituency as proven by higher percentage of those favouring the ordinance and the bringing of reusable
bags when shopping. This was due to strict implementation of the ban amidst the difficulty of gaining its
acceptance to those primarily affected. This goes to show that strict implementation can serve as a key to
minimization of plastics and perhaps consequently effective management of solid waste.

Keywords: plastic bags, solid waste

Introduction
Among the prevalent local and national behaviour of the constituency as proven by higher
issues on solid waste management is the percentage of those favouring the ordinance and
burgeoning problem of plastic litter all over the the bringing of reusable bags when shopping.
country. Local governments as well as national This was due to strict implementation of the ban
legislative bodies are seeking ways to minimize if amidst the difficulty of gaining its acceptance to
not to eliminate plastics in solid waste. Recently, those primarily affected. This goes to show that
Antipolo City implemented a local ordinance strict implementation can serve as a key to
regulating/banning the use of plastic bags in the minimization of plastics and perhaps
commercial sector. In order to find out the consequently effective management of solid
effectiveness of such ordinance in bringing about waste. This study was conducted in 2011 but has
desired behavioural change a survey was never been published.
undertaken in the main wet and dry public market
of Antipolo City. The survey hoped to determine 1.1 Objectives/Aims of The Study
the initial effects of the ban on the solid waste The proposed study has the following
situation in the city and on the attitudes of the objectives:
citizens in the community towards the ban and i) To determine the initial impacts of the plastic
towards the environment. The data gathered bags ban in terms of improvement of the solid
survey was analyzed using the Predictive waste situation in Antipolo City and the
Analysis Software (PASW) Statistics (SPSS reactions of people on the implementation of
version 18). The results indicated positive impact the ban.
of the ban on the use of plastic bags on solid waste ii) To determine the effects of the ban in terms of
situation of the city as well as on the attitude and changes in the behaviour of the people
towards management of solid waste and the major wet and dry public market along the
changes in the behaviour of the citizens main thoroughfare of Antipolo City. Since this is
towards environmental awareness. the main public market, this a one of places where
most people come to do their shopping for their
1.2 Significance of The Study daily needs and is where the ordinance is mostly
While a few Local Government Units implemented, also since the office of the public
(LGUs) have made a move to impose a ban on the market administrator holds office in the vicinity.
use of plastic carryout bags, there is still an on-
going deliberation in the Congress as well as in 2.3 Research Design
the Senate regarding the banning of plastic bags. 2.3.1 Data Collection Methodology
Currently, the process is moving towards Gathering of primary data was done
regulation of plastic bags (production and use) through a survey and key informant interviews
instead of ban on their use. The results of this with an actual ocular observation of the
study will help determine whether a ban is surroundings. Secondary data, such as monitoring
effective in the improvement of solid waste and accomplishment reports, were gathered from
situation in the country as might be exemplified the Environmental Services Office of Antipolo
by Antipolo City. City. Photo-documentation was conducted as part
of the data or evidence of outcome of the
1.3 Scope and Limitations implementation of the legislation. Face-to-face
This research aims to study only the and self-administered interviews were done with
initial impacts of the implementation of the the aid of semi-structured questionnaires.
plastic bags ban. As such, it will be limited only
to the preliminary determination of its effects for 2.3.2 Survey Description
three months. It will not be concerned with waste An ocular inspection of the streets of the
segregation policies but will be limited only to the city as well as its waterways was conducted to
initial effects of the ban on the solid waste present a situational analysis and determine the
situation in the city and on the attitudes of the prevailing solid waste situation in the city. This
citizens in the community towards the ban and was followed by interviews at the chosen site.
towards the environment. Three groups or sectors were surveyed
Since the time to study the initial impact for this study. The first group was the
period is very short (one month only); hence, the implementers, the second group consisted of the
survey area was limited to the main wet and dry vendors or shopkeepers, and the third group
public market of Antipolo, which is located in the consisted of the consumers.
Poblacion. Survey was done through either a face-
to-face interview as well as by distributing
2. Methodology questionnaires to the selected respondents. A
focused interview was done for the 1st group of
2.1. Significance of the Survey respondents. The questionnaires for the shop-
Surveys are significant in that they can be owners were distributed among the market
used to determine the beliefs, attitude and vendors and retrieved after a few hours. The
behaviours towards prevailing trends, laws, and accomplishment rate of the questionnaires was
other aspects in the community. sixty per cent (60%). Some of the vendors were
The results of the survey present the busy with sales work and did not want to answer
preliminary evaluation of a policy (in this case the the questionnaires while some of them simply did
ban on plastic bags) which will give a glimpse at not want to answer the questionnaires and were
how well the implementation is being carried out not returned.
at the beginning of implementation.
2.3.2 Statistical Design
2.2 Survey Area A simple random sampling was
Due to time and budgetary constraints, conducted for interviewing the shoppers. Sixty
the survey was conducted in one place, which is (60) samples were taken and interviewed using
face-to-face survey technique. This was done by evening. This place was chosen to be the study
randomly selecting shoppers. Samples were site for the survey since many people from
selected at random at certain times of the day. For various places in Antipolo come here to buy all
example, twenty (20) samples were interviewed sorts of goods and merchandise and that this is the
in the morning until 12:00 noon, twenty (20) place most likely to be impacted by the
samples were interviewed in the afternoon, and implementation of the ordinance.
another twenty (20) samples were interviewed
early evening. This was done to determine
whether there is a difference among the shoppers
at certain times of the day.
For the shop-owners, convenience
sampling was done since they were busy with
their businesses, such that only those willing to
answer the survey forms were interviewed while
the others were given the forms and retrieved
after a few hours. Thirty (30) samples were
gathered for this study.
Key informants were also interviewed for
this study in order to determine the extent of
implementation and how such implementation is
conducted within the entire LGU. For this
purpose, the City Administrator, the Public
Market Administrator, as well as the head of the Figure 1 Areal Map of Antipolo Public Market
Ecological Waste Management Office were (Google Earth)
interviewed. This was conducted by visiting their
respective offices. Secondary data were also
requested from their offices regarding solid waste
as well as the ordinance.

3. Results and Discussions


3.1 Description of the Study Area
The survey was conducted within the
confines of Antipolo City’s main public market,
which is located two blocks away from the city
hall. The public market is a two-story
establishment which houses dry goods
merchandise (clothing, home decors, cooking
paraphernalia, trinkets, etc.) on its second level.
The meat and fish section, fresh fruits and Figure . Location of Antipolo public market.
vegetables and all other ingredients for cooking
as well as cooked foods are located on the first 3.2 . Results of the survey
floor of the public market. The survey yielded two (2) types of data,
Located in Bgy. San Roque, it occupies numerical and categorical (nominal). For such
the entire block in the heart of Antipolo along ML types of data, a Chi-square (X2) statistic was used
Quezon Street on the west, J. Sumulong Street on here to compare the variables and to find out
the north, F. Manalo St. on the east, and J. Simeon whether there exists any relationship or
Street on the south (see areal views on the next correlation between these variables. The chi-
page). The market is filled with people of all square is used to investigate whether
walks of life during the day. It is busiest during distributionsof categorical variables differ from
the early morning until 12’o’clock noon and one another. After Chi-square, a post test
during late afternoon until eight o’clock in the statistical method, Cramer’s V was calculated to
determine the strengths of association between than 10,000 pesos. About 13.3% did not state
the variables tested. Cramer’s V coefficient is their income in the survey questionnaires.
useful for comparing multiple X2-test statistics The profile of the shoppers interviewed
and is generalizable across contingency tables of for this study was that 21.7% of the shoppers
varying sizes and is mainly used to calculate interviewed were aged less than or equal to 29
associations using nominal data. To describe the years old, while 31.7% were between 30-39 years
strength of association, Cramer’s V is described old. The majority of shoppers surveyed were 40
as having values from 0 to 1 where >0.5 signifies years old and over, comprising 46.7% of the
high association while 0 to 0.1 has little or no sample.
association. Calculations for these values were Although the participants were chosen at
done through PASW. The software PASW random, more female shoppers were interviewed
Statistics (SPSS version 18) (Predictive Analysis (71.7%), while the male shoppers comprise only
Software) is a program that can be used to analyse 28.3% of the sample. It cannot be concluded here
data from surveys, tests, observations, and other that more females do the shopping than males,
data gathered. The software can perform a variety however, it can be said that at the time of
of data analyses and presentation functions. sampling, more females arrived than males and
Features of the software include descriptive thus, they were the ones mostly interviewed for
statistics such as frequencies, percentage this purpose.
distribution, t-Test, X2-test among others. This When asked about their educational
software can perform a variety of statistical attainment, 56.6% of the sample said they
computations, thus saving time for the researcher finished high school and/or vocational courses
in analysing the data gathered. while about 30% finished a college degree and
only 13.3% of the respondents finished
3.2.1. Profile of Participants elementary school.
The ages of the participants were Forty per cent (40%) of the sample
grouped into two, since the data was not very belong to families earning an income of more
significant for those younger than twenty (20) than Php10,000; 33.3% have a monthly family
years old. income of PhP 5,000-PhP 9,999.00. About 26.7%
Thirty (30) shop-owners were said they earn a monthly income of less than Php
interviewed for this study (Table 1), all owning a 4,999.00.
stall or stalls inside the public market of Antipolo The cases belong to a diverse group of
City. Of the shop-owners who answered the occupation wherein 40% are mostly
survey forms, 10% were between the ages of less homemakers; 16.7% for both private employees
than twenty (20) years old to twenty-nine (29) and self-employed/business owners; 5% are
years old. Most of the participants interviewed students, 1.7% works in a government institution;
were within the age range of 30-39 years old 6.7% are labourers, while 11.7% are either retired
(46.7%) while the rest were over 40 years old or work someplace else. Around 1.7% of the
(about 43.3%). sample did not specify their employment status.
Most of the thirty (30) participants
interviewed were females, about 76.7%; while a 3.2.2. Knowledge and Awareness
smaller percentage, about 23.3%, were males. The respondents were primarily asked
More than half of the shop-owners who whether they were aware of the ordinance
answered the survey questionnaires finished banning/regulating the use of plastic carryout
college degree (about 60%), while 40% finished bags, whether they fully understood the reason
high school/vocational school. for such and if they were satisfied with the
When asked about their weekly income, implementation of such a policy.
most of the shop-owners (60%), stated they earn Although all (100%) respondents
between P1,000-P5,999 pesos, while some of interviewed were aware of the ordinance, only 58
them (20%) earn between P6,000-P9,999.00 and or 96.7% of the shoppers and 93.3% of the shop-
only a few (6.7%) earn a weekly income of more owners said that they understood the reason for
regulating/banning the use of plastic carryout
bags and some 3.3% among both the shoppers bag as carryout container because for them,
and the shop-owners said that they did not reusable bags are sturdy, convenient and
understand the reason for such a regulation. Also, comfortable to use, can be washed and used again
86.7% of the shoppers and 89.7% of the shop- many times over, and can contain more goods
owners were satisfied with the ordinance, while compared to other carryout bags/containers,
13.3% were not satisfied with the said ordinance. which are disposable. They also said that they
When asked whether they understood the preferred using reusable bags now than plastic
advantages of not using plastic bags, a majority bags in order to help in the protection of the
(96.7%) of both the shoppers and the shop- environment as well as help in the prevention of
owners replied positively, while 3.3% were clogging the waterways and lessen the littering of
negative about it. waste on the streets.
Public information campaign regarding The responses above only showed that a
the plastic bags ordinance has been going on in majority of the shoppers interviewed were willing
the city, as shown by posters hanging in public to compromise against using the free plastic
places This explains the high level of awareness carryout bags for the sake of helping the
of the people regarding the policy. Also, campaign for cleanliness and environmental
according to shop-owners, letters notifying the protection. This awareness and willingness to
business owners regarding the ordinance have cooperate with this new environmental policy is a
been distributed all over the city. positive indication that most people nowadays are
environmentally aware and socially conscious of
3.2.3. Attitudes/Behaviour towards the Ban what is happening to the environment and can
In trying to determine the people’s understand that such policies are part of the
attitudes or behavioural responses towards the measures aimed at protecting the environment.
ban, the shoppers were asked whether they bring The shoppers were also asked for their
their own reusable bag nowadays, their opinions opinions regarding buying reusable bags for their
on buying reusable bag for shopping, choices of groceries. Most of them (65%) said that buying
carryout bags, their opinions on what type of bag reusable bags is all right with them because they
should be used for shopping in the marketplace, can contribute to environmental protection.
as well as whether they wish to change the About 25% said that it was fine with them as long
ordinance and add a P5.00 levy for using plastic as they could carry the things they bought, while
bags or whether they prefer the current ordinance a few of them (10%) said they were annoyed
which bans the use of plastic bags for all dry because of the extra expenses.
goods purchases and limits such use for wet The shop-owners were also asked about
goods purchases. The responses are shown on the their opinions regarding the ordinance.
following figures below: Approximately 43.4% said that plastic bags
Results of the survey indicated that should be banned in order to reduce waste and
96.7% of the respondents bring their own because paper bags are better since they are
reusable bag nowadays when shopping, while biodegradable. On the other hand, 43.4% said
only a few (3.3%) never bring their own reusable they should not be banned because the use of
bags. When asked “why”, the only reason they plastic bags could help save the trees and that
gave was that they always forget to bring reusable plastic bags are better for packaging wet
bags with them when they go shopping. merchandise. Most of those who did not favour
It was also found that a majority of the the ban were from the wet goods section of the
respondents (98.3%) were willing to buy reusable market. They also complained that they were the
bags and chose the current ordinance over an ones who receive the ire of customers who were
amended ordinance which would allow the use of not used to bringing reusable bags. Around 13.3%
plastic bags but with a levy of five pesos (Php5.00 of those interviewed did not answer the question.
or $0.10) for every plastic bag that will be When asked for their opinions on why
used.When ask for the choice of carryout plastic bags should or should not be banned,
container they prefer to use, most of the 36.7% said that plastic bags should not be
respondents said that they prefer using reusable banned because they are good for wet
merchandise such as fish or meat; 6.7% said that When the vendors/shop-owners were
Plastic bags should not be banned in order to asked whether their clients/shoppers were
save the trees; 36.7% said that plastic bags reduced after the implementation of the
should be banned and paper bags used instead ordinance, some of them said yes (20%), others
because they are biodegradable and another said no (80%).
6.7% said that plastic bags should be banned to According to the vendors interviewed,
reduce waste; 13.3% did not give any answers. this caused so much frustration to them plus
additional activity of making paper bags (out of
3.2.4. Practices used newspapers). They further explained that
In order to determine the shoppers’ and before the implementation of the ordinance, they
shop-owners’ practices in the use of plastic bags used to just buy plastic carryout bags. But after
in the light of the ordinance, the following the ban was implemented, what they buy
responses were gathered from the respondents: nowadays are scotch tapes or tubes of paste to
56.7% of shop-owners said they still use plastic make the paper bags because they do not want to
bags, while 11% said they do not be use plastic buy the brown paper bags since those are more
bags, and 6.7% did not provide any answer. 25% expensive and there is not enough supply
of the shoppers said they still use plastic bags available.
while 40% said they no longer use plastic bags, With regards to cleanliness, more shop-
35% said sometimes they use plastic bags. It owners think that solid waste in the city were
should be noted that the ordinance regulates the reduced after the implementation of the ordinance
use of plastic bags in the wet goods section and (70%), as opposed to just 40% of shoppers who
not banned so that those who responded yes to the think that garbage has been reduced. Most of the
question were those who were selling wet goods respondents (48.3%) believed that garbage was
such as fish, chicken, or meat. However, those somewhat or just a bit reduced. Inspection of the
selling wet goods use only a certain type of plastic vicinity of the public market showed that the
bag, called “labo” (means cloudy), a thin, single streets have indeed been maintained and free
use cellophane, which is quite disposable. Double from littering, which indicates an intensive
bagging is no longer allowed though, and even if campaign against the use of plastic bags as well
their consumers grumble and demand for plastic as tougher implementation, imposing penalties to
bags, they were afraid to pay the penalty (which those who violate the ordinance.
is PhP500.00 (over $10.00) for the first offense,
PhP800.00 (over $15.00) for the second time and 3.2.5. Waste Segregation Practices
revoking of license to sell on the third time of Waste segregation practices, although
violation). these has little to do with the banning of plastic
It was also found that other sellers in the bags, is also a way of finding out the solid waste
dry goods area use plastic bags as courtesy to the practices of people to see how well they are aware
customers who do not have shopping bags with of other environmental policies and can therefore
them for the convenience of carrying the goods determine levels of environmental awareness
bought. When asked why they still use such among the citizenry. RA 9003 mandates that
despite the ban, the reason given was that it is waste must be segregated at source. People who
only “banned when caught” and that the customer practice waste segregation at home are more
needs to have the goods packaged in a sturdy environmentally aware or more aware of existing
carryout container. It was also found that more environmental policies than those who do not and
shoppers no longer use plastic bags as carryout are willing to cooperate in urban waste
container when shopping because they want to management interventions of the government,
cooperate with the government policy and that such as the banning of plastic bags.
they did not want to get caught and pay the With the current implementation of the
penalty. The same reasons were given by the policy banning the use of plastic bags, it is
vendors who are no longer using plastic carryout possible that such a policy has awakened some
bags. level of awareness among the people in terms of
other environmental policies. This can be seen by
the way they manage their solid waste. It was means that there was no sufficient data/evidence
found that 70% of respondents are segregating to generalize this result within the population.
their garbage.
Various reasons were given, such as,
segregation has become a habit; to separate To check whether age is a determining
biodegradable (which emit bad odour) from non- factor for satisfaction with the ban on plastic
biodegradable; to keep from littering waste into bags, a cross tabulation was done for age against
the waterways; to help in environmental the responses on the satisfaction with the
protection; and to obey the law to avoid penalties. ordinances. It was found that thosed aged less
They also reported that segregated waste were than or equal to 29 years old have high
placed in various types of containers such as satisfaction rating (84.6%) compared to 15.4% of
plastic bags, jute sacks, broken pails, garbage unsatisfied people of the same age. A higher
drums or barrels, etc. satisfaction rating was found for people aged 30-
39 years old compared to only 5.3% unsatisfied.
3.2.6. Statistical Analysis Those aged 40 years old and above also showed
The results of the survey on the shoppers an 82.1% satisfaction with the ordinance
were subjected to Chi-square analysis, since this compared to 17.9% unsatisfied.
group had a bigger sample size than the shop- From the results, it can be said that there
owners. For the survey on shop-owners, only the was a very high percentage of those who were
frequencies and percentage were considered since satisfied with the ordinance banning the use of
the sample size was too small for statistical plastic bags compared to those who were not
treatment using a chi-square analysis. To further satisfied. Checking for correlation using age
test the Chi-square values, Cramer’s V was also groups to determine the variability of yes answers
used for nominal values to determine the among the age groups, the results generated for
generalizability of the samples. The the age vs. satisfaction with ordinance indicated
demographical data were compared with the data that there was no correlation between these two
on the choice of carryout containers and with variables within the sample and that it could not
regards to the satisfaction with ordinance. be generalized for the entire population.
It was found that 92.3% of the Similarly, in trying to establish the
respondents within the age range 29 years and relationship between the educational attainment
below favoured using reusable bag while only and choice of carryout containers, it was found
7.7% favoured the use of disposable containers. that there was a high percentage of respondents
About 78.9% of those respondents aged 30-39 who would rather use reusable containers than
years old favoured the use of reusable containers, disposable ones, across all categories of
and only 21.1% among the respondents aged 30- educational attainment.
39 years old favoured using disposable containers Based on the results above, a value of p
for shopping. Among those aged 40 years old and = 0.070 indicated that there was a an very low
over, 85.7% favoured the use of reusable correlation between the variables within the
containers for shopping, while only 14.3% sample but because of its closeness to p<0.05
favoured the use of disposable carryout there might be some correlation if there were
containers. It was found there is a high percentage enough samples for the generated data although
of those who favoured using reusable carryout within the study, there was not enough evidence
containers/bags across age groups, signifying that to say that it could be generalized within the
age had nothing to do with choosing the type of entire population as shown by the Cramer’s V
container. To further test this, Cramer’s V, which value.
is used to test for the generalizability of the Thus, it can be said from the data
sample within a population, was run in order to gathered that education has nothing to do with the
check whether there was any relationship. As it satisfaction/dissatisfaction of the respondents
turned out, a Cramer’s V equal to 0.136 indicates regarding the policy implemented. At any
a weak relationship between the variables within educational category, they can be satisfied when
the samples. Similarly, a value of p = 0.576 they perceive that the policy is doing good for the
environment as well as to the behaviour of the The data from the survey was able to
people. Naturally, as can be seen from Table 12, prove the hypothesis of the study, which found a
not everyone will be pleased with such a policy positive impact of the ban on the solid waste
and will always resist change, such that some of situation of the city as well as the attitude and
the shoppers interviewed said that they were not behaviour of the constituency as proven by the
satisfied with the ordinance banning the use of high percentage of those who favour the
plastic disposable bags, because for them, plastic ordinance and the bringing of their own reusable
bags offer the most convenient way to carry the bags when shopping.
goods they purchased. In this study, it was found that,
It was also found that income has nothing nowadays, vendors/shop-owners in the dry goods
to do with the choice of carry out container. section no longer use plastic bags (except for a
Across the income groups, more respondents few which try to sneak-in plastic bags at the
preferred the reusable type of carryout container behest of some consumers, just to please them),
than the disposable ones. Further relating these and use paper packaging instead. These paper
variables, it can be said that there is no significant packaging are in the form of recycled materials
relationship between the income and the choice such as old newspapers, magazines and phone
of carryout bags. directories and made into “paper bags” because
Table 2 below also shows that the the shop-owners/vendors find the brown paper
satisfaction of the respondents is not related to bags more expensive. This clearly shows how
their income since across all income groups, a people can be creative in order to comply with the
high percentage of the sample is satisfied with the policy. Although there is no baseline data to
ordinance than being dissatisfied further proving determine the volume of reduction in plastic bags
that basic understanding of such an ordinance and waste, the reduction of plastic bags littering the
being satisfied at its implementation has nothing streets has definitely been achieved. Also, since
to do with their social or financial status in life. the people have become aware that the plastic
bags ordinance was implemented to curb the
Table 1. Monthly family income vs. satisfaction waste littering, they have also become aware of
with the ordinance. the ill-effects of improperly disposed plastic bags
on the environment as a whole and perceive that
Satisfaction with the
Monthly Ordinance the ordinance is good at preventing the littering of
Total
Family Income plastic waste. This reveals the changing attitudes
Yes No
of the people towards their environment in that
<PhP 4,999 81.3% 18.8% 100.0% their awareness has been heightened regarding
the use of materials that end up as waste that
PhP 5,000- 90.0% 10.0% 100.0%
9,999
affect the waterways.
It should be remembered that the primary
>=PhP 10,000 87.5% 12.5% 100.0% reason for the move to ban plastic bags is that
Approx. Sig 0.736 oftentimes they end up on the streets which are
p<.05 carried into drainage canals when it rains.
However, in Antipolo, it was found out that only
Cramer’s V 0.101
the use of plastic “sando” bags was banned but
N cases = 60 not the single use thin film plastic they called
"labo", which are easily discarded, unlike the
plastic carry-on bags that are oftentimes reused.
4. CONCLUSIONS This would lead to the question of where these
The study was able to provide a bird’s plastic bags go afterwards.
eye view of the preliminary effects of the Although the littering of plastic bags
ordinance as well as gain some knowledge on seemed to have decreased, some shop-
how those who were interviewed felt about it. owners/vendors have reported that it was only
replaced by paper waste since paper bags are
being used instead of plastic bags. The banning of
plastic bags seemed to be a solution to this waste implemented and violators are penalized, then the
littering problem since the government seems to problems on solid waste will finally be contained.
have been ineffective in implementing the The study was under severe limitations
provisions of RA 9003, or management of solid due to time and budgetary constraints such that it
waste. In order to prevent the littering of plastic was not possible to include the entire area of
bags waste, these should, therefore be taken out Antipolo City. For this reason, only a small
of the market. Although this ordinance offers a sample was included in the survey, which
practical solution to the plastic bags waste covered only those in the market such that the
problem, this would perhaps be effective only in study cannot be conclusive of the situation of the
the short term. What would be more effective is entire city especially those in the barangays that
the implementation of the solid waste are far from the city center.
management policy and discipline of the
populace in order to create a long term solution to
the problem, which does not only constitute 5. RECOMMENDATIONS
plastic bags but other waste as well. If In order to be able to have a clear picture
behavioural changes will occur, such that people of the real impacts of the ordinance and the
will learn to manage their solid waste, and that effects this has on the solid waste situation in the
infrastructure would be available, we will be city, it is recommended that this study be
closer to solving the garbage woes. continued one year later. Also, at this stage, the
As seen from the study, the strict volume of solid waste, especially of plastic waste
implementation of the ordinance to ban/regulate must be properly recorded to form as baseline
plastic bags use was able to reduce the plastic data for reference. A plastic waste recovery centre
bags waste. However, proper waste management must be set up at strategic areas of the city and
is still the best way to contain all waste so they do that the garbage collectors must be instructed to
not end up where they are not supposed to be. separate plastic bags waste upon collection.
According to the result of this study, any law that Although “economic impacts” is not part
is strictly implemented is effective. Although of this study, the ordinance clearly has a big
many consumers still long for that lightweight impact on the polyethylene industry, from the
convenient carry-on plastic bag, they now realize manufacturer to the retailers. The ordinance did
that the rampant use of such has been among the not seem to have considered the economic
culprits in the clogging of waterways and causing impacts it would have on other vendors since the
so much litter on the streets. Although they still suppliers of plastic bags have been hard hit by this
grumble as to the use of recycled newspapers for ordinance. For example, the supplier of plastic
packaging and buying/bringing their own bags in the market complained of a 50% reduction
reusable carry-on bags/containers, the seeds of in sales and recently penalized (Php500 pesos) for
awareness have already been planted and are using a plastic “sando” bag to package the thin
starting to grow. plastic bags bought by a wet goods vendor who
In order to properly resolve the problem demanded plastic packaging. A study on the
on plastic bags waste, there has to be a thorough economic impacts of the ban should be conducted
deliberation as to which plastic bags must be in the future.
banned since reusable plastic bags can provide a This study also needs a better statistical
solution too. design so that responses to the survey will not be
While it is true that plastic bags waste can biased in order to reflect the real situation.
clog waterways because they are non- Although larger sample can be better, it may be
biodegradable, other solid waste can do the same. better if the profile of the community can be
And using paper put a huge demand on our trees adequately represented. This survey can then be
and water supply. It is clearly not the best used as forerunner of succeeding surveys which
solution. To put it simply, with the strict can be done in the future.
implementation of the ordinance, the people are It can be said that although the LGU’s
catching on. Perhaps, if RA 9003 is strictly leadership has been trying hard to make the
campaign against the widespread use of plastic
bags, there are some products that require plastic ownloads/20091006_Formatted.pdf.
bags for packaging to protect the products. An Accessed on Dec. 4, 2011.
Executive Order (E.O.0018 series 2011) was 3) Dikgang, J and M. Visser. (2010).
therefore released by the Office of the Mayor to Behavioral Response to Plastic Bag
provide some exceptions to the ban. Legislation in Botswana. Environment for
Unfortunately, this has not been communicated Development discussion paper series May
properly to the shop-owners/vendors. As a result, 2010 EfD DP 10-13. Available online at
they have not realized that they can apply for such http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/EfD-DP-10-
an exemption if their reasons are justified. 13.pdf Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
In order to effectively implement the 4) Xiufeng Xing. (2009). Study on the ban on
policy, a massive and continuous Information and free plastic bags in China. Journal of
Education Campaign (IEC) is necessary for the Sustainable Development. Vol. 2. No. 1 pp.
people to better understand the importance of the 156-158. Available online at
ordinance. The policy, if carried out effectively, www.ccsenet.org/journal.html Accessed
would have a potential impact on raising further last Dec. 3, 2011.
the level of awareness of the citizens in protecting
the environment. This is important in changing
people’s behaviour for the better and promises
long term effects in environmental management.
REFERENCES

Adane, Legese and Diriba Muleta. (2011).


Survey on the usage of plastic bags, their
disposal and adverse impacts on
environment: A case study in Jimma City,
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1) Begum I, Zareena. (Undated). Plastics and the
Environment. Dissemination Paper 12. Center
of Excellence in Environmental Economics
(Sponsored by the Ministry of Environment
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mse.ac.in/dp/Paper%2012.pdf Accessed on
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