EcoWaste Coalition: Recycle or Repurpose Illegal Campaign Tarps

An environmental watchdog group today called for deliberate efforts
to keep illegal campaign propaganda materials for the May polls out of dumpsites
by recycling or repurposing them.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a partner of the government-led “Basura-Free Elections”
advocacy and the civil society-formed Green Thumb Coalition, stressed that candidates
could help protect the environment from wastes and toxics by abiding by the Commission
on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution 10049.
Through the said resolution, the Commission has directed, among other things,
the removal of campaign materials outside authorized common poster areas and
has consequently tapped the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and
the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) as lead agencies for the “Operation
“We ask concerned candidates not to wait for DPWH or MMDA personnel to remove
their errant campaign materials,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste
“At the same time, we appeal to those who will take out unlawful materials such
as tarpaulins to remove them with care so the same can be recycled or
repurposed,” she added 
“Repurposing or recycling  tarps is a
sure way of reducing the volume of campaign wastes that are burned, buried in
dumpsites or thrown in waterways,” she said.
The group recalled that the MMDA collected some 70 tons of campaign materials  during the 2013 mid-term elections that were
either disposed of or recycled.
Tarpaulins, which are sturdier compared to other common campaign materials, can
be repurposed for many useful, but non-food contact purposes, the EcoWaste
Coalition said.
According to the group, discarded campaign tarpaulins can be made into bags, slipper
or shoe organizers, seat covers or as tents for disaster evacuees.
Tarpaulins can also be used as canopies for homes and stores, or as awnings for
tricycles and jeepneys.
Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition will mobilize its membership in taking photos
of illegal campaign materials for submission to the COMELEC.
COMELEC Chairman Juan Andres Bautista had earlier urged the electorate to take
pictures of non-compliant posters and get involved in the “shame campaign” to promote
candidates’ compliance to the campaign regulations.