Environment News

PH Groups Back Global Movement to “Break Free from Plastic”

Ecowaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero © www.untvweb.com
Ecowaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero © www.untvweb.com

PHILIPPINE environmental groups, including the EcoWaste Coalition, have expressed support for the newly launched global movement seeking to stem the growing volume of plastic pollution across the globe.

This developed following the official launching today (Sept 15) in Tagaytay City of the Break Free from Plastic (#breakfreefromplastic) movement.

“We believe in a world where the land, sky, oceans, and water are home to an abundance of life, not an abundance of plastic, and where the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat is free of toxic by‐products of plastic pollution,” the movement’s launching statement says.

According to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, “the birth of this movement mirrors the increasing global concern against worsening plastic pollution and the urgency to stem the tide to prevent our Mother Earth from further drowning in plastics.”

“We contribute to this global movement by pushing for prohibitions on single-use plastic bags, plastic microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products and on toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium and mercury in packaging, and by promoting socially just and eco-friendly waste solutions sans dumping and burning,” she added.

Environmental activist Von Hernandez of Greenpeace pointed out: “Our continued dependence on single-use plastics and disposables is bringing us to the brink of a global crisis that now threatens the health of our oceans and our collective well-being. It is time we end this destructive cycle and break free from the scourge of plastics pollution.”

“The high volume of plastic trash is being used by incinerator proponents to justify burn disposal technologies such as ‘waste-to-energy.’  We can fight off incinerators by depriving them of plastics and other feed stock to burn and pursuing ecological solutions,” stated Anne Larracas of GAIA Asia-Pacific.

Towards a future that is free of plastic pollution, the Break Free from Plastic movement will pursue the following shared principles:

1. Our lifestyles and economy fit within the environment limits of the planet.

2. Waste is reduced, first and foremost.

3. The life cycle of the materials and products we use – from extraction and production, to end use, recycling, composting, and disposal –sustain the health of the people and the planet.

4. Strong community action and partnerships among citizens, workers, government, sector experts, and supportive business leaders guide decisions about present and future material design, manufacturing, and waste management.

5. Waste pickers and recycling workers are supported to improve the systems they operate in and can co-lead a just transition to a new and safe materials economy.

6. Producers take responsibility for the full life cycle costs and impacts of their products and packaging, and are redesigning and innovating better materials and systems.

7. Where plastic products and packages are necessary, they are re-used, repaired, or, failing that, recycled; and toxic substances are eliminated from their production.

8. No new incinerators are constructed, and renewable energy incentives are eliminated for plastics and waste burning. This includes gasification, pyrolysis, cement kilns, and other burn “waste-to-energy” facilities.

9. Organic waste returns to the soils and zero waste systems reduce reliance on landfills and incinerators.

10. The systems we build and materials we use slow climate change, rather than accelerate it.

Aside from the EcoWaste Coalition, an environment and public health watchdog, the other Philippine based organizations who expressed support for Break Free from Plastic Movement are Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm-Asia, Mother Earth Foundation and Oceana Philippines.

Interested groups and individuals who share its vision and principles may join the movement by signing up at  http://breakfreefromplastic. org/

Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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