Group Appeals to Visitors: Keep Parks Litter-Free and Smoke-Free during the Holidays

A waste and pollution watch group today appealed for public cooperation in keeping Metro Manila’s parks litter-free and smoke-free during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The EcoWaste Coalition aired the appeal ahead of the festive holidays that are expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors to popular parks, particularly the Rizal Park (Luneta) in Manila City, Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) in Quezon City, and other parks, both public and private, all over the metropolis.

“The large number of visitors expected in Luneta, QMC and other recreational parks poses a big challenge to the small number of waste sweepers and collectors who have to work around the clock to keep these favorite places clean,” said  Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition. 

“Many park visitors, especially during the eve of Christmas and New Year, unashamedly abandon their garbage behind due to utter lack of discipline and probably because many people are doing it,” he said.

Plastic bags and bottles, food and beverage containers such as Styrofoam packs and cups, food leftovers, cigarette filters, and paper or plastic materials used as picnic blanket or sleeping sheet are among the waste items frequently left by park visitors.  

As we tend to imitate what people around us are doing, the EcoWaste Coalition prodded concerned citizens who are plannning to go to the park during the holidays to mind their trash and make it known that littering is unacceptable.

“If we have more citizens minding their own trash and rightly frowning upon littering in public places, litterbugs may be persuaded not to litter,” stated Alejandre.

The EcoWaste Coalition also urged visitors to keep the parks smoke-free noting that parks should provide a healthy and safe environment for all, especially for the vulnerable groups like young children, pregnant women and the elderly. 

“As Luneta and QMC are people’s parks, we ask smokers not to smoke or vape there,” requested Alejandre.

“We also appeal to park administrators to be vigilant against cigarette smoking to prevent secondhand smoke exposure among children and non-smoking adults visiting the parks,” he added.   

The EcoWaste Coalition emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect Rizal Park, QMC and other tree-studded open spaces, which are the green lungs of our bustling cities, from garbage and smoke.