Quezon City implementation of the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance is back and in full swing since last March 1, 2021.

While it may be remembered that the QC government already started implementing the ban last January 2020, the ordinance was temporarily lifted in May 2020 because of the city’s guidelines for Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

The ordinance prohibits the distribution and use of plastic bags as carry-out for groceries and other items in retail establishments like supermarkets, malls, shopping centers, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, and other businesses throughout the city.

In lieu of this, Quezon City residents were encouraged to bring their own reusable bags by Mayor Joy Belmonte and staff from the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department as well as the Market Development and Administration Department. The Mayor and the departments visited Galas, Munoz, Suki, A. Bonifacio, Frisco, and Kamuning markets last February 28, 2021 and distributed free bayongs and ecobags to marketgoers for their own use.  

“Alam naman natin na plastics are one of the greatest polluters of our oceans and bodies of water, clogs our waste streams and pose health risks,” Mayor Belmonte said in a statement regarding the need to reduce reliance on single-use plastics. “Now we can manage the pandemic better, so itinuloy na natin.”

The ordinance aims to encourage plastic waste reduction and other environmentally sound sustainable practices while penalizing violators with stiff penalties.

Those establishments who contravene the ban risk the following progression in penalties:

  • FIRST OFFENSE: A fine of Php1,000.
  • SECOND OFFENSE: Php3,000, plus revocation of environmental clearance.  
  • THIRD OFFENSE: Php5,000 plus revocation of business permit.

By 2022, the QC government will also cover the prohibition of brown paper bags in retail establishments as part of the full implementation of the ordinance and towards a greener, more environmentally sustainable metro.