In celebration of World Wildlife Day 2019, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu calls on Filipinos to cut down on the use of plastic.
Cimatu said that the Philippines is among the top 5 contributors of plastic waste in the ocean. He also raised concerns on the amount of plastic that end up in the ocean and pose a threat to marine life.
“We produce 2.7 metric tons of plastic waste every year. Following this trajectory of plastic production and mismanagement, UN reports predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish,” Cimatu said.
Ocean Conservancy reports that 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year while according to the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup report, cigarette butts, plastic bottles and caps, straws and stirrers, among other kinds of plastic bags, were some of the top items found. — Aileen Cerrudo
Environmental group, EcoWaste Coalition urged the youth not to light any firecrackers and fireworks for a safe and non-toxic new year.
In a statement released on Thursday (December 12), the eco-group said they launched ‘Iwas Paputoxic’ to encourage families and communities to turn away from the dangerous and polluting tradition of detonating firecrackers and fireworks to welcome the New Year.
“The misuse of firecrackers and fireworks can cause blast injuries or burns that may require amputation, eye damage that may lead to blindness, tetanus, poisoning and even death with children as the most affected” Thony Dizon said, the Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.
The EcoWaste Coalition further urged the public not to burn used tires on New Year’s eve which can generate loads of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other toxic chemicals that are harmful to a person’s health and to the environment.—AAC
Health and environmental advocates urge the public not to burn trash especially in cemeteries during the observance of Undas.
In a joint statement, public health expert Dr. Maricar Limpin and zero waste campaigner Jove Mendoza said there are health and environmental dangers in burning trash.
Exposure to these pollutants can cause breathing difficulties and trigger asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses, especially among children, the elderly and those already suffering from weakened immune systems,” Limpin said.
Meanwhile, Benosa reiterated that burning trash in public is prohibited. He said among the laws banning and penalizing open burning are Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act.
“Instead of burning discards, we appeal to cemetery administrators and visitors to follow the provisions of RA 9003, which requires the segregation of discards at source and their ecological management such as by composting the biodegradables and recycling the recyclables,” said Benosa.—AAC
The EcoWaste Coalition has raised concerns over the dangerous amount of lead found in several playground equipment in the country.
Based on the report of the eco-group, 50 out of 55 play equipment have total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm) which is the limit set by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Their report also added that around 42 lead-coated playground equipment have dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.
Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition Thony Dizon has raised the dangers of the lead-coated playground equipment.
“The paint will deteriorate with repeated use and exposure to sun and rain. This will cause the paint to peel and get into the dust and soil, which can be ingested by children through common hand-to-mouth behavior,” he said.
EcoWaste is also supporting United Nations’ campaign, the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action which is observed from October 20-26.—AAC
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