Advocacy Christmas Environment Zero Waste

Open Letter to Cove Manila and Okada Manila re December 31 Balloon Drop

29 December 2018
Mr. Heathcliff Motorga
Cove Manila
Okada Manila, New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, 1701 Parañaque City
Dear Mr.  Motorga,
Subject: Balloon Drop at Cove Manila
Season’s greetings from the Ecological Waste Coalition of the Philippines, Inc.  (EcoWaste Coalition), a non-profit environmental health and justice network of over 140 groups that are working for a zero waste and toxics-free society.
We write to express our utmost concern regarding the upcoming indoor balloon drop at Cove Manila on December 31 as part of Okada Manila’s grand countdown to 2019.  As you have announced, you plan to drop 130,000 balloons in an attempt to break the current Guinness Book of World Records of 109,000 for the largest indoor balloon drop.
We are particularly concerned with the environmental soundness of inflating and discarding 130,000 balloons for a few minutes of merriment of your highly privileged 3,000 guests, which, after the event, will likely be disposed of at a place where poor people live and work.
Considering the colossal volume of trash that our country generates, estimated at over 40,000 tons per day, we cannot help but question the propriety of wasteful events such as the balloon drop that Cove Manila is set to do on New Year’s Eve.
The 130,000 balloons to be dropped will have to go somewhere and we wonder what your plans are for their management or disposal soon after the revelry.  We fear that Okada Manila will not only smash the current Guinness World Record for the largest indoor balloon drop, but also establish a new world record for the most number of used balloons sent to the dump from a single event.
While our wish may be next to impossible, we still beg you to call off the balloon dropping event for the sake of the environment.
If our wish cannot be granted, we call upon your company to do what is necessary to ensure that none of the spent balloons will be disposed of in a manner that will add to our country’s waste and pollution woes.
Thank you very much for heeding our plea and best wishes.
Sincerely yours,
Aileen Lucero
National Coordinator
EcoWaste Coalition