Group calls for waste-free holidays

ECOWASTE Coalition is asking people to have a waste-free holiday.

Jove Benosa, zero waste campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, said making this year’s celebration of Christmas plastic-free and waste-free will contribute to the fulfillment of the right to a healthy environment that all persons and communities deserve to enjoy.

The environmental watchdog called on the public to exert efforts to make the festive celebration plastic-free and waste-free in line with the basic human right to a healthy environment.

The group echoed the statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment saying that “a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation.”

With the right to a healthy environment in mind, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the public to observe several suggestions for a plastic-free and waste-free Christmas such as making a shopping checklist to avoid impulse and wasteful buying and overspending; bringing your own bayong or reusable carry bags when you shop, refuse plastic or paper bags at the cashier counter; scout around for eco-friendly products before making a purchase; look for goods that are minimally packed, safe, durable, and which can be repaired, reused, recycled or passed on to other users and support local products such as those made or marketed by farmers’ cooperatives and various charities and communities to sustain their efforts toward self-reliance, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

EcoWaste also urged the public to consider buying in bulk to reduce the cost per unit, as well as to lessen packaging waste; refrain from wrapping gifts and use old magazines, newspapers, fabric scraps or native baskets if wrapping cannot be avoided, carefully unwrap gifts received and save the bags, boxes, bows, ribbons and wrappers, if any, for the next gift-giving season; opt for party items that can be washed and reused instead of single-use plastic plates, cups and cutlery; bring reusable containers for take-out food, as well as for leftovers; junk the use of cling wrap, which is not recyclable nor compostable; recycle or share edible food leftovers with the poor; keep soda cans, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and other recyclable discards to sell to junk shops or to give to informal waste recyclers.

“Heeding our call for an eco-friendly Christmas will go a long way toward promoting sustainable consumption in our households and communities,” Benosa added.


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