Cavite Green Coalition and EcoWaste Coalition Give Thumbs Up to Rosario, Cavite’s Tarpaulin Ban

Groups promoting
environmental health and zero waste welcomed the action by a local government
unit (LGU) in the province of Cavite to ban the use of tarpaulins.    

In a joint statement, the EcoWaste Coalition and the Cavite Green Coalition gave
the Municipal Government of Rosario, Cavite early thumbs up for promulgating
Executive Order 51, Series of 2013 prohibiting plastic-based tarpaulin banners.

“The unchecked use of tarpaulins, especially by ‘epal’ politicians, has become
a public nuisance in our province and elsewhere, adding to the ever increasing
volume of plastic garbage that is not easily recycled,” observed Ochie
Tolentino, Coordinator, Cavite Green Coalition.

“Epal” refers to credit-grabbing, scene-stealing public officials and other
politicians who have the penchant of advertising themselves mainly through tarpaulins.

“By their bold decision, the Rosario local authorities may have set a model
environmental policy that other LGUs can emulate to prevent the avalanche of
tarpaulin waste this coming election,” she said.

The EcoWaste Coalition likewise commended Rosario’s action to arrest the
growing volume and toxicity of municipal solid waste by controlling uses of plastic
tarpaulins, which are often coated with polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) resin.

“Tarps, like other plastic materials, do not easily degrade, posing serious disposal
problems to LGUs who have to deal with discarded tarps,” said Sonia Mendoza who
heads the EcoWaste Coalition’s Task Force on Plastics.

“PVC tarps, in particular, contain lots of synthetic chemical additives and
plasticizers, making it extremely difficult to safely recycle or dispose of at their
end-of-life,” she said.

A recent investigation of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Task Force Chemical Safety
found cadmium, a carcinogenic substance, in the ink used for tarpaulin banners
in the range of 71 to 1,253 parts per million (ppm).     

Cadmium is one of the 48 chemicals and chemical
compounds in the Philippine Priority Chemical List (PCL) “that have been
determined to potentially pose unreasonable risks to public health, workplace
and environment.”

The European Union beginning December 2011
banned the substance in plastics and other specific uses to “reduce environmental pollution from
cadmium,” while in Minnesota, USA, cadmium exceeding 100
ppm is banned in any pigment, paint, dye or ink since 1998.

EcoWaste Coalition is a national network of more than 150 public interest groups
pursuing sustainable and just solutions to waste, climate change and chemical
issues towards the envisioned Zero Waste 2020 goal, while the Cavite Green
Coalition brings together over 20 civil society groups promoting the “green
agenda” in the province.