Photo: German Frank Schuengel picked this up and returned it to the van from which it was thrown (by Frank Schuengel).
“Please be considerate… never throw waste out of vehicles.”
The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watch group, has called upon all car drivers as well as passengers not to throw any trash on the road.
The group’s latest plea against littering came on the heels of a video post last week by Frank Schuengel, a German national working in the Philippines, showing him chasing and returning a plastic bag of trash to a van from which it came from.
According to his post, Schuengel was cycling to work when he saw the passenger of a van in front of him threw rubbish out of the car window and onto the street. The incident took place at the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge.
“You should care when someone throws garbage out of a car because that’s how decent human beings should react,” wrote Schuengel in a related post.
“And as flattering as everyone’s reaction is, the pollution problem in this country won’t be solved by one bloke on a bike. It will take all of us to make a difference,” he added
The EcoWaste Coalition lauded Schuengel’s good deed as the group echoed the need for all people to be involved in protecting the environment against waste and pollution.
“We thank Mr. Schuengel for doing the right thing, and for reminding each and every road user of our shared responsibility to maintain the cleanliness and safety of our streets and communities,” said Ochie Tolentino, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Please be considerate of other people and our common environment. Never throw waste out of vehicles,” she said.
“Regardless of its type — biodegradable or non-biodegradable, plastic or non-plastic, wet or dry, big or small — rubbish tossed out of the car window is pollution that can make the surroundings ugly and even harm public health and the environment,” she said.
Garbage thrown out of the car, Tolentino said, can be blown by the wind or carried by water to storm drains and into the seas and oceans.
“The things that we recklessly throw away may even reach the oceans and put the lives of ocean animals in grave danger,” said Tolentino as she recalled the 40 kilos of plastic waste in the stomach of a beached whale found dead last March 2019 in Mabini, Compostela Valley.
“Government regulators need to enforce our national and local waste laws, corporations need to stop producing products in wasteful packaging, and citizens need to choose eco-friendly products and bid goodbye to single-use plastics, and to littering,” she pointed out.
The group noted the report released last April 9 by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) stating that it apprehended a total of 4,316 violators during its anti-littering operations in the first quarter of 2019.
MMDA environmental enforcers caught the litterbugs in Monumento, EDSA-North, Cubao, Ortigas, Guadalupe, Buendia, EDSA-Taft, and other places in the national capital region.
Among the most littered items, as per the MMDA, were candy wrappers, cigarette filters, papers, and plastics.