EcoWaste Coalition Backs Barangay Action to Protect People and the Environment from Firecrackers and Fireworks
The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition exhorted the country’s over 42,000 barangays to mount proactive action that will protect their constituents and the ecosystems from harms caused by the lighting of firecrackers and fireworks, especially on New Year’s Eve.
With few days remaining before the New Year’s Eve revelry, the group, which has been staging its “Iwas Paputoxic” campaign since 2006, urged barangay authorities to take the lead in promoting an injury-free, fire-free, garbage-free and toxics-free way of heralding 2023.
In the latest edition of its “Iwas Paputoxic” drive held at Barangay Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, the EcoWaste Coalition linked arms with barangay, health, fire and police officers to encourage the public to opt for a safer way of welcoming the New Year sans injuries, fires, waste and chemical pollutants linked to firecrackers and fireworks.
“We commend the country’s most populous barangay for its efforts to dissuade residents against the use of firecrackers and fireworks, which can endanger human health and the environment,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “As frontliners in the promotion of public welfare, the proactive action by our barangay officials will be crucial in influencing families and neighborhoods to switch to a pro-health and pro-environment way of ushering in the New Year.”
The non-use of firecrackers and fireworks during the New Year revelry will protect the people’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights to health and to healthful environment, as well as help in upholding important environmental, health and animal protection laws such as the Clean Air Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Water Act, Climate Change Act, and the Animal Welfare Act, the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized.
In seeking barangay-level action against firecrackers and fireworks, the group cited key reasons why communities are better off without the “toxic beauty” of firecrackers and fireworks:
- Firecrackers and fireworks can cause physical injuries requiring emergency medical treatment.
- Firecrackers and fireworks generate toxic smoke filled with particulates, heavy metals and other chemicals of concern resulting in poor air quality and visibility and causing public health and safety hazards.
- Firecrackers and fireworks leave toxic-laced residual garbage in streets that ends up in waterways, dumps and landfills.
- Firecrackers and fireworks produce deafening noise that is torture for animals with acute sense of hearing like cats and dogs.
- Firecrackers and fireworks can start accidental fires, which can destroy homes and take lives.
The money saved for not buying and bursting firecrackers and fireworks can be used instead to pay for food, medicines, bills, clothes, school needs, and other essentials, the EcoWaste Coalition concluded.