Green groups launch 3Rs drive to preempt post-election garbage crisis

May 4, 2010 11:23 am 

MANILA, May 4 — Anticipating an avalanche of post-election garbage, the EcoWaste Coalition and the Miss Earth Foundation sounded the alarm bell and sought public cooperation in keeping the campaign discards out of dumpsites and landfills.

In a public event held in Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City, the newly crowned Miss Philippines-Earth 2010 Kris Psyche Resus and her court joined forces with Zero Waste advocates in promoting simple yet creative 3Rs (repurpose, reuse, recycle) solutions to avert a potential garbage crisis after the May 10 polls.

“We have come here today with an earnest message to the Filipino people that it is better to repurpose, reuse and recycle the huge volume of campaign discards than to burn or bury them and in turn pollute our communities,” said Resus.

Joining Resus were the other eco-queens, namely: Miss Philippines-Water Emerie Dale Cunanan, Miss Philippines-Fire Gwennaelle Ruais, Miss Philippines-Air Rene Rosario McHugh and Miss Philippines-Eco-Tourism Angela Fernando.

“By adopting innovative ways of keeping tarps and other campaign materials out of the waste stream, we prevent these useful resources from being wasted, while cutting pollution that is making the people and the planet sick,” said Roy Alvarez, president of EcoWaste Coalition.

“It is not enough that the posters and banners are removed without delay after the polling day. It is also imperative that these materials are not burned or hauled into the dumpsites, which are already bursting at the seams,” the groups stated.

As a long-term measure, the groups see the need for the Commission on Elections to initiate a review of how the election laws are responsive or not to the need to protect the environment from waste, toxic and pollution before, during and after the political campaign.

Both groups are hopeful that the concerted efforts by responsive individuals, families, civic groups, churches, businesses, local government units and, not to forget, the politicos, will significantly reduce the amount of campaign trash for disposal.

“We hope that through the ‘bayanihan’ involving all sectors of the community, we can considerably trim down the quantity of waste materials requiring collection and disposal,” the groups said.

The Miss Earth Foundation and the EcoWaste Coalition cited a number of benefits that should encourage the public to support the groups' latest crusade for 3Rs. Among these benefits are:

– reduced garbage and cleaner and healthier communities

– reduced expenses for waste collection and disposal

– reduced demand for virgin materials

– reduced emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants

– reduced deforestation with the recycling of paper

– expanded opportunity for resource conservation

– expanded consciousness among citizens to take environmental action

– expanded individual and group creativity and resourcefulness

– expanded family and community cooperation and self-reliance

– expanded job creation, especially if carried out on a bigger scale

Some of the ingenious and functional 3Rs ideas for typical campaign discards include turning tarpaulins into aprons, bags, stuff organizers and recycling sacks, using plastic posters as kites, fly swatters and shower curtains, crafting paper posters into note and sketch pad and utilizing cardboard posters to make signage and visual aids.

In addition, enterprising citizens have the option of selling recyclables to junk shops or to itinerant recyclers. For example, assorted campaign paper can sell for P1-2 per kilogram and white paper can fetch P10-12.50 per kilogram.

The ideas were contributed by Alaga LAHAT, Buklod Tao, Citizens Organization Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Green Stage Filipinas-MASKARA Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives, Mother Earth Foundation, Sining Yapak, Zero Waste Philippines and the EcoWaste Coalition Secretariat. (PNA)



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