Zero Waste Month: Be responsible of the waste we generate

Proclamation No. 760, dated May 5, 2014, the then President Benigno Aquino III declared January of every year as Zero Waste Month, which aims to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Regional Executive Director Paquito D. Melicor, Jr. urged our local government units (LGUs) to pass resolutions for a sustainable and comprehensive waste management policies and support practices that would reduce waste to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and also the Clean Air Act. We really appreciate and recognized the efforts of some LGUs in crafting and enforcing local ordinance banning the use of single use plastics/observance of plastic holidays.

As we celebrate the Zero Waste Month this January, let us be mindful of the waste we create. Be responsible. Reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse single use plastics.

Plastic has an extremely long-term impact on the environment. The production of fossil fuels, as well as the petrochemical industry in general, creates a lot of carbon dioxide, so reducing our dependence on plastic means reducing carbon emissions. Producing plastic also contributes to climate change. It takes up to 500 years to decompose plastic bags.

Never leave your home without a tote bag, a reusable water bottle, and a coffee travel mug, your own food containers for takeout and carry your own straw made from bamboo, glass or stainless steel when going out for a drink.

RED Melicor also requested for the manufacturers to establish a buy back mechanism and collection center or drop box to help protect the environment. Irresponsible disposal of discarded plastic waste always ends in our waterways and into the ocean that makes more harm to our ecosystem.

All our decision count, during this pandemic let us all do our bits to flatten the curve before things become critical. If every single person, do their share managed to contribute a little rather than only a few hundred successfully leading a radical zero-waste life. People change if they feel you understand them and if you give them the chance to change gradually. This might buy us time to find more technical solution for our waste management problem. Gradually changing your lifestyle to become more sustainable was also the overarching theme of this month’s Bouncing Back from the Pandemic to a greener and healthier environment”, he added. ###