19 April 2009

SC Urged to Aim for Zero Waste Courts

Quezon City. “Go for Zero Waste.”

The EcoWaste Coalition called upon Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno to aim for zero waste courts to complement the “greening” of the judicial system as exemplified by the establishment of environmental courts and the ongoing effort to craft procedural rules that will hasten the resolution of environmental cases.

The waste and pollution watchdog aired this plea after presenting the Chief Justice with a banner made from recycled fabric scraps that says “zero waste” at the recent forum on environmental justice organized by the Supreme Court in Baguio City.

“We laud the Supreme Court for taking up the cudgels for the environment. To further ‘green’ the judiciary, we urge Chief Justice Puno to direct all courts to enforce zero waste resource management,” Eileen Sison of the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“Zero waste courts, if implemented, will add to the growing list of public and private institutions as well as communities implementing effective citizens-driven initiatives to ecologically address our garbage woes sans dumping and burning,” she said.

“We hope that the courts under the leadership of Chief Justice Puno will join us in promoting zero waste as a vehicle for environmental justice, climate protection and economic renewal,” Sison added.

Zero waste, the EcoWaste Coalition pointed out, is compatible to environmental justice for it reduces the volume and toxicity of garbage being sent to dumpsites, and thus preventing toxic pollution that results from the out-of-date approach of merely collecting and dumping discards in low-income communities.

At the forum on environmental justice, the EcoWaste Coalition pushed for the inclusion in the draft procedural rules on environmental cases the presence of dumpsites, mixed waste disposal facilities and incinerators as prima facie violation of the Clean Air Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

To back up their advocacy for zero waste, the EcoWaste Coalition provided the justices, judges and other forum participants with copies of the brochure “Zero Waste for Zero Warming” published by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).

According to GAIA, a comprehensive program of waste prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling and composting known as zero waste is among the cheapest and most effective strategies to combat climate change and promote environmental justice.

Zero waste can be implemented within months and at any level (institutional, municipal or national), conserving the country’s natural resource base, preventing toxic pollution that inevitably accompanies incinerators and landfills, and producing more jobs than the prevailing
‘hakot-tambak’ system.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

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