EcoWaste Coalition: Cancel Fireworks Shows, Shun Firecrackers, Help Typhoon Victims

19 November 2013, Quezon City.   A waste and pollution watchdog has called on local government units, private companies and individual revelers to divert money to be spent for fireworks and firecrackers to
relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

The EcoWaste Coalition made the call after Makati City cancelled its annual New Year’s Eve countdown featuring live performances and a fabulous fireworks display as announced by Mayor Jejomar Erwin
“Junjun” Binay.

“Government and corporate organizers should take their cue from Makati City and drop plans to hold fireworks spectacles in deference to the victims of monster typhoon Yolanda,” said Aileen Lucero, National
Coordinator, EcoWaste  Coalition.

“Burning money for lavish parties and fireworks shows amid the heartbreaking cry for help by the disaster victims will be the height of apathy,” she pointed out.

“The cancellation of pyrotechnic displays will save millions of pesos that can alleviate the suffering of the victims, while preventing the discharge of toxins and wastes into the environment,” she said.

“It would be coldhearted to proceed with these costly and polluting acts while millions suffer from the debilitating tragedy,” she said.

“President Aquino or Secretary Roxas should issue an executive or department administrative order enjoining LGUs to call off planned fireworks shows and, by example, lead their constituents in observing
simple Christmas celebrations with the welfare of the Yolanda survivors in their hearts and minds,” she suggested.

Lucero likewise appealed to all individuals who are used to detonating firecrackers to drop the habit and  opt for cleaner, quieter and safer ways of ushering in the New Year.

Aside from causing preventable injuries and deaths, exploding firecrackers can cause massive environmental and climate pollution, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

Air pollution, the group observed, is aggravated by the release of toxic pollutants into the atmosphere that can cause allergies, heart disturbances, asthma attack and respiratory ailments, including bronchitis, laryngitis, emphysema and pneumonia.

Water pollution is exacerbated by fallouts and residues from firecrackers and fireworks that go down to storm drains, rivers and seas contaminating the marine ecosystems, the group noted.

Land pollution is worsened by the generation of non-recyclable and non-reusable paputok waste, including cellophane, plastic and paper scraps, as well as used PVC pipes from “boga” (mock cannon), the group

Finally, warlike noise pollution is produced by the loud bangs and tremors that can disturb, upset and scare humans as well as animals, and even damage the sense of hearing, the group said.