The waste and pollution watch group, EcoWaste Coalition, has joined the public outcry over the controversial balloon drop on New Year’s Eve at the luxurious Okada Manila, which it said would set a record-breaking wastefulness.
The group asserted that the event’s wastefulness is not lessened by the use of biodegradable balloons and the supposed plan to send the spent balloons to a recycling facility instead of being dumped or landfilled, stressing that recycling should not be used to justify the generation of waste.
“The event for sure will be record-breaking for its wastefulness considering the resources required to make the balloons and to organize the balloon drop for a few minutes of hollow entertainment for those who can afford it,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
Lucero pointed out that the resources spent for the provocative event should have been used for worthy causes like giving media noche bundles for the poor.
The group insisted that the massive dropping of 130,000 balloons at Cove Manila should be cancelled in light of the uproar that has prompted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to intervene.
As confirmed by DENR Usec. Benny Antiporda to the EcoWaste Coalition, the department has already issued a formal order directing Okada Manila not to proceed with the balloon drop that has outraged Netizens and various environmental groups.
“We commend the DENR for issuing such directive and we hope it will be duly enforced,” noted Lucero.
The EcoWaste Coalition yesterday wrote to Mr. Heathcliff Motorga, Director of Cove Manila, urging him “to call off the balloon dropping event for the sake of the environment.”
“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,” wrote Lucero.
“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 (holding) wasteful events,” she stated.
“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,” she said.
The group’s open letter to Cove and Okada Manila can be viewed here: