Plastic and Other Stuff

Last September 1, Quezon City, where my beloved M and I live, passed a resolution that prohibits (or limits) the use of plastic bags in the city.

“Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has signed into law a measure prohibiting the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers within the City Hall complex, Novaliches District Center (NDC), Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) and Novaliches District Hospital (NDH).

“Ordinance 2127, prohibits the use of these items by city employees and visitors. The ordinance authors said that the city hall generates a lot of plastic and polystyrene waste during its programs, meetings and other activities, and this waste generation should be minimized by encouraging employees and visitors to refrain from using these products.” (From http://www.quezoncity.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=703:plastic-and-styrofoam-ban-at-city-hall&catid=1&Itemid=362)

We’ve found out upon going to market one Saturday, that the ordinance only prohibits the use of the opaque “sando-style” plastic bags, the ones with handles, and not every kind of plastic bag. That means the very thin bags which vendors in the market use are still OK. Supermarkets now require their cashiers to inquire from customers whether they’ve brought their own bags for wrapping and storing their goods. They discount a peso or two for every bag that customers bring.

I’m of two minds about all this.  First, while I welcome the regulating of plastic bag use, something tells me that this is merely a gut reaction to the recent floods that occurred in the Metro. The floods were blamed on the plastic bags that littered the streets and clogged the drains. Again, I am all for removing trash and unclogging the drains, but the problem has more to do with discipline, or lack thereof, among the people, rather than on plastic products themselves. Prohibiting the use of plastic bags barely solves the problem if the people lack the discipline to dispose of plastic and other forms of trash in the first place.

Second, and having said all that, perhaps a gut reaction is better than no reaction at all.

On a different note, one positive development that came about is the proliferation of well-designed paper bags in the market. My beloved M’s favorite has to be the one from BreadTalk, with it’s built in handle and nice broad shape.

Of course, a paper bag is not the best solution for wrapping all kinds of products–I once saw a Jollibee personnel put two cups of cold soda inside a paper bag (think of the ramifications of that)–and plastic bag manufacturers may still have an argument in favor of the continuation of their products.

Please note that I am not a bleeding heart environmentalist. Just a thinking taxpayer.

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Something funny on our way home yesterday…

I drove my in-laws to downtown Manila yesterday. My father-in-law had to have a suit made in 168 Mall, and I promised my beloved M that I would drive them over. I promised myself that I would never go back to that place as long as I lived and so I told them that I would park in Lucky Chinatown Mall and they could just walk to 168, which was practically next door.  (FYI, there is no parking space at all in 168. At least there wasn’t last time I went, so if there is I apologize.)

While my beloved M and her folks went to 168, I decided to look around Lucky Chinatown. We have heard good things about the mall from friends–the weirdest one was, “This is the one place in Chinatown where you can use a credit card,”–so I had high hopes as I walked its floors.

Not too bad, but nothing very good either. Here are a few things I noticed:

  • The layout was horrendous. The whole thing absolutely made no sense! It wasn’t like SM North (or Megamall) which is one long strip, which means its hard to walk for some but at least you won’t get lost since everything in on a straight line anyway. Neither was it like Trinoma, which was built with a central “core” and radiating “arms.” While I don’t like the Trinoma design as much as I like the Megamall design, I have to agree with my wife that it is quite functional. If you get lost, just go back to the core. Nothing like that in Lucky Chinatown.
  • Food, food everywhere! Lucky Chinatown had more restaurants and food stalls than anything else. Which was strange. (My beloved M says that it makes a bit of sense, considering there are few food choices in the adjacent malls, like 11-88, Meisic, and 168.
  • The parking design (the exit from the parking) will give you a headache if you’re not used to weird layouts. Signs weren’t that much helpful either.

Still on a good note, I found this guy in the main lobby.

I guess he was one of the so-called “living statues,” who make money by pretending to be statues. Unlike other living statues, this guy moved around quite a bit and even posed for pictures. He only stood still long enough to entice people to have a closer look, and then he’d suddenly move and chase after people who come too close. Cute.

Coming out from the driveway of Lucky Chinatown I saw this wonderful example of Filipino ingenuity and forward thinking attitude: An electric post right in the middle of a two lane street. Marvelous.

It’s a toss up which came first. Did the road engineers pave a street knowing there was an electric post in the way, or did the electrical engineers plant a pole knowing a road was already there? Either way, it boggles the mind!

Now I want to go back to Human Nature and soothe my aching mind with some kamote fries and salad.

Ciao!

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