“Boy Bayong” Returns in time for Earth Day 2012

“Boy Bayong,” the EcoWaste Coalition’s favorite mascot for ecological and sustainable lifestyle, will stage a comeback amid the clamor for solutions to the plastic garbage crisis.

As part of the Earth Day 2012 festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines this Sunday, “Boy Bayong” will greet and inspire the public to “think out of the plastic bag” and embrace eco-alternatives to the ubiquitous symbol of our throw-away culture: plastic bags.

“The fragile state of our environment requires a key revision to our inconsiderate consumption and disposal habits that tend to view Mother Earth as a boundless source of raw materials to be extracted and consumed and as a dumping ground for leftover toxics and wastes,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste, Coalition.

“Through ‘Boy Bayong,’ we hope to encourage Filipinos from all walks of life to personally commit to reducing climate and environmental pollution by switching to reusable carry bags and containers,” he added.

Eco-alternatives to plastic bags include bags and baskets made from native plants such as abaca, bamboo, buri, coconut, karagumoy, nipa, pandan, rattan, water hyacinth and other local fiber materials, cloth bags fashioned out of used clothes, curtains, pillow cases, bed sheets and blankets as well as fabric scraps and flour bags, and carry bags from used rice, garlic and onion sacks, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“Tupperware,” empty biscuit or ice cream containers, buckets and pails will come in handy for wet goods such as meat, fish and poultry, the group added.

“Boy Bayong” will also assist Zero Waste advocates Ofelia Panganiban and Christina Vergara in sharing skills to festival visitors on how to minimize the generation of garbage at home or in the workplace through the application of “3Rs” and more.

“3Rs” pertain to the green mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” to which the EcoWaste Coalition has added a few more “Rs” such as “repair” (for broken stuff), “rot” (for organics) and “reject” (for products packed in excessive packaging as well as those laced with toxic chemicals, genetically modified organisms and other substances of concern).

The EcoWaste Coalition has also added another very important “R”: “responsibility” to emphasize the responsibilities of consumers, communities, industries, financiers and investors, politicians and governments in attaining a just and sustainable society.

Panganiban and Vergara will particularly showcase the use of improvised sack hangers for the convenient segregation of discards into different categories to make recycling easy and fun.

First introduced in 2006 at the “Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration,” “Boy Bayong” draws attention to the obvious “plasticization” of our society and the need for ecological interventions from all quarters to address the multi-faceted problems associated with the unregulated use and disposal of plastics, particularly plastic bags.