05 May 2016

Watchdog Airs Last-Ditch Appeal for Garbage-Free Miting de Avance

A waste and pollution watchdog pleaded for garbage prevention and control as various political parties gear up for their respective miting de avance on May 7, the end of the official campaign period.

In an ultimate bid to sway political parties and their backers against the reckless generation of trash, the EcoWaste Coalition called out rally organizers to, for a change, wrap up their campaign in an environmentally-caring manner. 

”It’s ok for your supporters to come in full force, but please ask everyone to mind their trash and to keep rally sites litter-free,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Whether held indoors or in iconic places like the Plaza Miranda or the Quirino Grandstand, organizers should ensure that garbage in political assemblies is kept to the minimum,” she said.

“Please do not turn May 7 into a ‘black’ Saturday for Mother Earth due to unrepressed  littering as if the streets and parks are open dumps,” she said.

Huge public gatherings often leave tons of rubbish such as littered campaign leaflets, discarded posters, used beverage and food containers, food leftovers, plastic bags and cigarette filters, lamented the EcoWaste Coalition.

“In most cases, the responsibility of clearing rally sites of garbage falls on overworked and underpaid  street sweepers and waste haulers,” observed Lucero. 

The EcoWaste Coalition insisted that it is possible to gather en masse to publicly display our political choices without creating horrendous amount of trash.

The group recalled that the massive “Million People March’’ held in August 2013 at the Rizal Park to denounce the rotten pork barrel system was almost litter-free, drawing positive remarks for being “clean” despite being “leaderless.”

“We hope that organizers for this Saturday’s political blitz will take full responsibility in making sure their activities are waste-free,” Lucero said.

To assist the rally organizers,  the EcoWaste Coalition group reiterated the following five tips to help in making the miting de avance eco-friendly:

-  Constantly remind the participants through the public address system to mind their garbage and not to leave any litter behind.

- Request participants not to bring single-use disposable food and beverage containers to the rally site and, if this cannot be avoided, to repeatedly warn the public against improper disposal.

- Enforce the ban on littering, open dumping and open burning under R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

-  Desist from lighting firecrackers and fireworks, throwing confetti,  and releasing balloons and sky lanterns.

- Assign a good number of eco-volunteers who will  clean up right after gathering.

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