By Jaime Pilapil | The Manila Times
SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is crafting a bill granting discounts to consumers who bring their own buri palm bag or ‘bayong’ to the supermarket as a way to discourage the use of plastic bags and saving the fragile life of the environment.
“Maybe this is something we could incorporate into the actual law. In my experience when I see this kind of scheme being implemented in grocery stores or supermarkets abroad it seems to be effective. The another option available to us to regulate the used of plastic bags,” he explained
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, added that ordinary consumers for sure will bring their own ‘bayong’ or loot bag if they can save certain amount while buying goods in the supermarket, grocery stores and department and retail stores.
“I think most consumers would like to do something good for the environment. One of the schemes that I have seen abroad is if you ask for a plastic bag, you will pay for it. But if you bring your own loot bag, you will get a discount. The matter of environment did not become a political issue until it became an economic one. In that way, we are bringing the issue into the economic sphere,” he said.
Recently, the Senate committee on environment and natural resources held a public hearing on proposed bills prohibiting groceries, supermarkets, public markets, restaurants, fast food chains, department stores, retail stores and other establishments from using non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Marcos also filed Senate Bill No. 2749 which seeks to regulate the use of plastic bags to minimize land sources of pollution and protect the quality of water.
The bill advocates the use of reusable, biodegradable bags made of washable material that does not contain lead or any heavy metal in a toxic amount and designed and manufactured for at least 100 uses, which shall be made available for customers.
Marcos emphasized that through this bill, consumers are encouraged to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of plastic bags.