27 January 2016. Quezon City. A few days before the culmination of the 2nd commemoration of January as Zero Waste Month, green groups prepare to close the month with a big call to every Filipino to go for zero waste.
The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm, and Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) spearhead the culminating event with the 2nd Zero Waste Fair in the Philippines to be held at the end of the month.
The fair will be a focal point of this year’s celebration of Zero Waste month as declared by President Benigno Aquino III on 5 May 2014 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation (PP) No. 760, declaring every month of January as “Zero Waste Month.”
“This year’s theme: ‘Posible ang Zero Waste, Kaya Nating Gawin!’ (Zero Waste is Possible, We Can Do it!), encapsulates the message that the fair would like to echo in a bang as a fitting capping event for this year’s celebration of the 2nd Zero Waste Month,” exclaimed Sonia Mendoza, President of EcoWaste Coalition and Chairman of Mother Earth Foundation.
According to PP No. 760, “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.
“The fair aims to build awareness, educate, and transfer skills to all stakeholders from the national and local government, private businesses, institutions, civil society, and the general public on zero waste by showcasing real waste solutions that do not discharge to land, air, and water, which threaten human and environmental health,” added Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition and lead coordinator of this year’s Zero Waste Fair.
Commissioner Romeo Hidalgo, NGO representative to the National Solid Waste Management Commission, said for his part that, “If we will only pursue authentic ecological solid waste management aimed at genuine waste diversion in all the barangays, we will see an approximate 50% to 70% reduction in the volume of waste getting disposed of in dumps and landfills.”
The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or Republic Act 9003 defines “Waste diversion” as “activities which reduce or eliminate the amount of solid waste from waste disposal facilities.”
Paeng Lopez of GAIA maintained that “RA 9003, instead of disposal, mandates waste avoidance and minimization, segregation at source, composting, reusing, recycling, and the listing and phasing out of non-environment-friendly products and packaging.”
The 2nd Zero Waste Fair which will be held from 30 to 31 this January at the Senior Citizen’s Garden, Rizal Park, Luneta, Manila, will see the exhibition of initiatives by local governments, NGOs, and private entities toward zero waste.