Lawmaker seeks creation of ‘plastic bag pollution fund’

Published by rudy Date posted on May 27, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – A party-list congressman today filed a bill, which seeks to compel customers to pay at least P5 for each plastic bag they will be using for the goods they purchased.

PBA party-list Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar filed House Bill 4462, seeking to create a fund to support the government’s programs and projects for the reduction of the use of plastic bags in the country.

Under the bill, which will be called “Plastic Bag Use Disincentive Act of 2011” if passed into law, big stores, supermarkets, food chains and similar establishments will be allowed to charge customers not less than P5 per plastic bag, regardless of size, when buying items or products.

Sambar said that the price of the plastic bags will not be subject to sales tax, but will be separately labeled under the “Plastic Bag Pollution Clean Up Charge.”

He proposes that the amount that will be collected from the plastic bag fees will be collected by the national government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and placed in a special fund to be called the “Plastic Bag Pollution Fund.”

The fund will be used to finance projects and programs of the government aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags in the country.

“The fees collected shall be used solely for projects to lessen the use of plastic bags and to promote the use of reusable bags,” Sambar said.

The congressman said the projects may include developing in-store educational materials for distribution to customers encouraging the use of reusable bags.

Under the bill, the DENR can use the Plastic Bag Pollution Fund for the development and implementation of programs that will encourage and support pollution prevention, abatement and clean up, enforcement, green chemistry, water quality protection and clean up, as well as environmental and public education and outreach.–Philippine Star

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