Examples of reusable water containers.
In a bid to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic bottles, two zero waste advocacy groups urged those embarking on their Undas journey and those visiting the tombs of their deceased relatives to bring their own water in reusable containers.
Through a joint statement, the EcoWaste Coalition and the Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) urged the public to go for reusable water containers, which can be re-used countless times, to curb the mounting plastic waste that is polluting the environment, including the oceans.
“Opting for water in reusable containers instead of throw-away plastic bottles, which are petrochemical products, will be hugely beneficial for the environment and the climate,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, MEF.
“As our nation and the entire planet wrestle with the negative impacts of chemical and plastic pollution and climate change, we urge everyone to go for reusable containers and fill them with clean tap water or, if needed, with boiled or filtered water,” added Mendoza who is also an Adviser to the EcoWaste Coalition.
According to studies in the US, “bottling water releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually and takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce a year’s supply, which is enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for the year or power 190,000 homes.”
“As not all reusable water containers are the same, we advise the public to select safe substitutes to disposable plastic bottles. If metal-based containers such as vacuum flasks are preferred, please pick those that are not coated with lead paint as we have detected dangerously high lead levels on some painted flasks being offered for sale in local stores. Also, shun those are not certified free of Bisphenol A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“If buying water in disposable plastic bottles cannot be avoided, we ask Undas travelers not to toss the used ones out of the car windows, throw them on the sidewalk, or burn them along with other discards in cemeteries. Dispose of empty bottles in recycling bins or hand them over to waste recyclers please,” added Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
Studies indicate that “reusable bottles are a safe, less wasteful and eventually more cost-effective alternative to disposable ones,” the groups said.
“By opting for reusable bottles, we help in reducing the volume of plastic waste that gets burned, dumped or spilled into the oceans, cut hazardous chemicals production, use and pollution, protect animals, especially marine life, and their natural habitat, and save money, too,” the groups emphasized.