EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to New Years’ Eve Revelers: “Please Mind Your Trash, Litter Not"

A waste and pollution watchdog today appealed to the public to ring in the New Year sans habitual littering.

The EcoWaste Coalition, an advocate for Zero Waste Philippines, insisted that the joyful welcome of 2015 need not turn our streets and parks into garbage dumps.

“For a change, let us wrap up 2014 and kick off 2015 in a manner that will mirror our personal and communal concern and responsibility for the environment,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Whether you are staying home or joining others in Rizal Park, Quezon Memorial Circle or Philippine Arena for the countdown to the New Year, please mind your trash and litter not,” she said.

Although strictly forbidden under Republic Act 9003 (the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) and complementary local ordinances, littering, observed the EcoWaste Coalition, is rampant, creating filthy eyesores.

The group observed that revelers who troop to public parks for New Year’s Eve fun and entertainment often leave “media noche” food leftovers and their polystyrene containers, disposable cutlery, plastic bottles and cups and soiled paper on the ground or on gutters and sidewalks.

In neighborhood streets, it’s not uncommon to see mixed garbage bins and heaps, including dangerous remnants of firecrackers and fireworks, the group further observed.

“These wasteful practices need to die out as we hail the New Year.  It will be embarrassing to observe January 2015 as ‘Zero Waste Month’ as proclaimed by P-Noy with our communities buried in preventable garbage,” Lucero said.

In May last year, President Benigno Aquino III issued Proclamation 760 declaring January of each year as “Zero Waste Month,” saying that “zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

“As children of Mother Earth, it is our shared task to look after the health and safety of our communities and the environment at large, ensuring that our actions conserve and protect, not inflict further damage, on our ailing planet,” she emphasized.

For a cleaner and greener New Year’s welcome, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the public to:

1. Prevent all forms of wasting to conserve resources, save money and minimize  the generation of waste.

2. Go for reusable dinnerware rather than single-use paper or plastic plates and other disposable party supplies.

3. Cut back on food waste by avoiding over-the-top midnight feast and by safely storing leftovers for sharing or recycling.

4.  Shun firecrackers and fireworks and go for substitute noisemakers that emit no fumes and yield no garbage.

5.  Avoid mixing up post-celebration discards, separate the biodegradable from the non-biodegradable to make reusing, recycling and composting fun and easy.