EcoWaste Coalition Calls for Litter-Free Political Rallies

Quezon City. A waste and pollution watchdog for the nth time urged politicos and their followers to keep their rallies clean and not to leave rally sites without cleaning them up.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-partisan environmental group, pleaded for ecological action after thousands of supporters of Liberal Party presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino and his ticket massed up yesterday near the People Power Monument on EDSA.

An on-the-spot inspection by the EcoWaste Coalition this morning, which was prompted by a DZBB radio field report, found portions of EDSA and the White Plains Avenue littered with yellow confetti, various candidates’ promotional materials, plastic posters and Styrofoam food containers. The group also found yellow ribbon lanterns that were left hanging around the People Power Monument.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) foreman Eduardo Fonto, who was on site to supervise the cleanup, told the EcoWaste Coalition that dozens of personnel took part in cleaning up the mess. The campaign discards were then hauled to the MMDA basealong Julio Vargas Avenue in Pasig City.

“We are worried that the same sorry sight will get repeated in countless rallies being planned by national and local politicians as the lively campaign for elective posts wraps up this week,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We therefore ask all aspiring public servants, regardless of their political persuasions, to lead by example and ensure that their remaining campaign sorties and their grand miting de avance will not degrade the environment with trash,” he added.

“For the sake of the public health and the environment, please enforce a zero tolerance on litter in your political activities,” Alvarez pleaded.

For a cleaner miting de avance, the EcoWaste Coalition has proposed the following steps:

– Shun throwing confetti, exploding firecrackers or releasing balloons.

– Refrain from using Styrofoam, plastics bags and other single-use items for the volunteers’ meals and drinks.

– Set up sufficient number of segregated waste bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable discards in the assembly area.

– Designate “eco-volunteers” to look after the bins and guide the public in the ecological management of discards.

– Engage and pay for local waste pickers to ensure the recycling of segregated discards.

– Clean up right after the event.

– Do not dump or burn campaign discards.

“We remain hopeful that all sincere candidates will heed our call for waste-free rallies and do their share in safeguarding the health and wellness of our communities from preventable sources of pollution and disease,” Alvarez stated.