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Wasteful Single-Use Plastic Banderitas Should Go, Insists Environmental Watchdog Group

Single-Use Plastic Banderitas

15 January 2023, Quezon City. A waste and pollution watchdog group has reiterated its call on local government and church authorities to take immediate action to stop the unregulated practice of hanging fiesta banderitas fashioned mostly out of new single-use plastics.

The EcoWaste Coalition renewed its call to halt the wasteful practice of hanging throw-away plastic buntings as Pandacan and Tondo communities celebrate today the popular Feast of Santo Niño while the nation observes the Zero Waste Month this January as per Proclamation 760, series of 2014.

“While we applaud some neighborhoods for opting not to join the wasteful bandwagon, we are saddened by the needless use of single-use plastic banderitas as citizens rejoice in honor of the Child Jesus unmindful of the plastic pollution crisis in our midst,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

In the monitoring conducted this morning, the group’s Basura Patrollers lamented the unrestrained use of plastic “labo,” plastic sando bags, and other plastic strips and scraps in the banderitas crisscrossing many of Pandacan’s and Tondo’s streets and alleys.

Single-Use Plastic Banderitas

Among the places found extremely decorated with disposable banderitas, especially new plastic “labo,” were Kahilom and Narciso Streets in Pandacan, and portions of Corcuera, Franco, Lakandula, Pavia, Perla, Madrid, Mejorada, Nicodemus, Pacheco, Pilapil, Sto. Cristo, Tioco and Trinidad Rizal Streets, to name a few, in Tondo.

“These banderitas have no artistic, functional, historical or spiritual value. Worst, they contribute to the tons of fiesta garbage to be hauled after the occasion, consisting mostly of single-use plastics and other unsorted discards, including food waste,” Lucero said.

To address this perennial garbage problem, the group called on local government and church officials to back a citywide ban on single-use plastic banderitas in all festivities for the sake of Mother Earth, which is already choking on waste and plastic, the group said.

The group also pushed for the active implementation of Manila City Ordinance 8282 banning the use of plastic bags for dry goods and regulating their use for wet goods. The ordinance further bans polystyrene plastic as containers for food, produce and other products.

The enforcement of Ordinance 8282, the group commented, will certainly help in reducing the volume of garbage generated by the City of Manila, which is projected to increase from 418,507 metric tons in 2022 to 421,772 metric tons in 2023, according to the website of the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

Single-Use Plastic Banderitas

Aside from the wasteful banderitas, the group questioned the need for “happy fiesta” plastic tarpaulins, which only contribute to the street clutter and litter, adding “these tarpaulins may even contain toxic chemical additives such as cadmium, a cancer-causing substance.”

“Our community celebrations, especially those inspired by our diverse faith and culture as a people, should be compatible with our role as stewards of Mother Earth,” the EcoWaste Coalition pointed out.

“By consuming responsibly and opting for things that can be safely used and reused, we help bring down the ballooning volume of plastic garbage, as well as prevent the release of plastic debris, microplastics and plastic chemical additives contaminating the environment, the food chain and our bodies,” the group concluded.


References:

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2014/05/05/proclamation-no-760-s-2014/

https://nswmc.emb.gov.ph/ (go to Solid Waste Generation)

Projected Waste Generation from 2020 to 2025

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.
https://www.ecowastecoalition.org/