Major supermarkets to follow DENR-decreed "no more free plastic bags" policy and reusable bag campaign every Wednesday


Saksi report on the reusable bag campaign

Under a memorandum of understanding signed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), major shopping malls and eco-friendly organizations, "Reusable Bag Day" is now held every Wednesday in some supermarket chains, reports Inquirer.net. The campaign’s participating supermarkets will no longer provide free plastic bags to their customers. They may sell plastic bags to shoppers who ask for them on Wednesdays. The participating establishments include Ayala Malls, Ever Malls, Hi-Top Supermarket, Isetann Malls, Makro, Robinsons Supermart, Savemore, SM Hypermarts and SM Supermarkets, according to Manila Bulletin.

DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said in a PhilStar.com report that incentives will be given to those who use reusable bags "to encourage this change in the behavior of consumers." He said, "The incentives shall be left to the discretion of the management of participating supermarkets. These could be in the form of rebates, points and actual cash incentives for every plastic bag saved."

Through the reusable bag campaign, Paje said in an Inquirer.net report, six million plastic bags may be saved every week according to the DENR’s computation. Paje "regarded (plastic bags) as a major contributor that caused floods during typhoons like Ondoy," Inquirer.net reports.

Aside from the DENR and the supermarkets, the memorandum of understanding on the reusable bag campaign was signed by the National Solid Waste Management Commission, Earth Day Network Philippines, Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association and Philippine Retailers Association.

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net and PhilStar.com.

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