The city government is set to ban the entry and usage of single-use plastics on the Great and Little Sta. Cruz islands as a strategy of solid waste management program within the protected area.
The Great and Little Sta. Cruz islands have been declared Protected Landscape and Seascape by virtue of Proclamation No. 271 issued on Apr. 23, 2000.
Assistant City administrator Cesar Raz said the prohibition against the entry and usage of plastics on the two islands will take effect on November 20.
Raz said that guests going to Sta. Cruz Island will be advised to bring their own containers, canisters, baskets, eco-bags, and all other reusable wares for their provisions and refreshments.
To ensure compliance, Raz said inspections will be done prior to or during the boarding at the Paseo del Mar.
He said single-use plastics that will not be allowed are the following: plastic bags, plastic cups, spoon, fork, and the likes; Styrofoam cups and Styrofoam packed meal containers; plastics from frozen items (ice and iced candies) and water bottles.
He said chips, curls, wrapped candies, and chocolates must be transferred to a reusable container for convenience while paper cups without plastic skins or films will only be allowed after inspection.
Hundreds of tourists visit the island, especially the Great Sta. Cruz Island, which boasts of being the only pink sand beach in the country.
Sta. Cruz Island, which is part of Barangay Sta. Barbara, is four kilometers south of mainland Zamboanga City.
Meanwhile, Raz said the people’s organization of Sta. Cruz Island has given the opportunity to sell and rent out the needed and relevant utensils and wares as an alternative in cases guests failed to prepare prior to their visit to the island. (PNA)