PH Groups Back Global Movement to “Break Free from Plastic”

#breakfreefromplastic goes live, gains ground
Environmental groups from the Philippines have thrown their warm support
behind a newly-launched movement that seeks to stem the tide of plastic
pollution across the globe.
The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator
Alternatives, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm – Asia, Mother Earth
Foundation and Oceana Philippines expressed support for the Break Free from
Plastic (#breakfreefromplastic) movement coinciding with its launch today,
September 15.
The above groups participated in the multi-country
process, including a global meeting held in Tagaytay City last July, which led
to the formation of the movement.
“We believe in a world where the land, sky, oceans, and
water are home to an abundance of life, not an abundance of plastic, and where
the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat is free of toxic
by‐products of plastic pollution,” the movement’s vision statement says. 
According to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the
EcoWaste Coalition, “the birth of this movement mirrors the increasing global
concern against worsening plastic pollution and the urgency to stem the tide to
prevent our Mother Earth from further drowning in plastics.”
“We contribute to this global movement by pushing for prohibitions on single-use
plastic bags, plastic microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products and on
toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium and mercury in
packaging, and by promoting socially just and eco-friendly waste solutions sans
dumping and burning,” she added.

Environmental activist Von Hernandez of Greenpeace pointed
out: “Our continued dependence on single-use plastics and disposables is
bringing us to the brink of a global crisis that now threatens the health of
our oceans and our collective well-being. It is time we end this destructive
cycle and break free from the scourge of plastics pollution.”
“The high volume of plastic trash is being used by
incinerator proponents to justify burn disposal technologies such as
‘waste-to-energy.’  We can fight off incinerators
by depriving them of plastics and other feedstock to burn and pursuing
ecological solutions,” stated Anne Larracas of GAIA Asia-Pacific.
Towards a future that is free of plastic pollution, the
Break Free from Plastic movement will pursue the following shared principles:
1. Our lifestyles and economy fit within the environment
limits of the planet.
2. Waste is reduced, first and foremost.
3. The life cycle of the materials and products we use –
from extraction and production, to end use, recycling, composting, and disposal
–sustain the health of the people and the planet.
4. Strong community action and partnerships among
citizens, workers, government, sector experts, and supportive business leaders
guide decisions about present and future material design, manufacturing, and
waste management.
5. Waste pickers and recycling workers are supported to
improve the systems they operate in and can co-lead a just transition to a new
and safe materials economy.
6. Producers take responsibility for the full life cycle
costs and impacts of their products and packaging, and are redesigning and
innovating better materials and systems.
7. Where plastic products and packages are necessary,
they are re-used, repaired, or, failing that, recycled; and toxic substances
are eliminated from their production.
8. No new incinerators are constructed, and renewable
energy incentives are eliminated for plastics and waste burning. This includes
gasification, pyrolysis, cement kilns, and other burn “waste-to-energy”
9. Organic waste returns to the soils and zero waste
systems reduce reliance on landfills and incinerators.
10. The systems we build and materials we use slow
climate change, rather than accelerate it.
Interested groups and individuals who share its vision
and principles may join the movement by signing up at  http://breakfreefromplastic.org/