January 04, 2019

What You Need to Know About Zero-Waste Month in the PH

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  • Every month of January is Zero-Waste Month, as declared by the former President Benigno S. Aquino III in the Proclamation No. 760 signed on May 2014.

    Zero waste is defined as the advocacy that promotes the managing of products to eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials.

    Also read: A Guide Towards Zero-Waste Lifestyle

    The proclamation is an important reminder of the need to be mindful of the waste we produce.

    On this month, the government and NGOs organize events and activities in an effort to educate the public on effective waste management. Such activities urge the public in turning a zero-waste society a reality, not only during the first month of the year but the whole year.

    This we can do by simply following the three “Rs” of effective waste management—“Reduce”, “Reuse”, and “Recycle”, and if we may add another “R”, we might as well “Refuse” waste altogether.

    There are now many alternatives to wasteful plastics, such as straws, plastic bags, and hard plastic containers that are available in the market.

    The local brand, Bambuhay selling bamboo straws in last year’s EcoWaste Management Expo organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

    Also read: The Alternative: Your Go-to Shop for All Things Sustainable

    In the Philippines, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 declares certain acts prohibited and providing penalties such as the following:

    1. Littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places such as roads, sidewalks, parks will be fined not less than Php 300 and/or community service of 1 to 15 days in the city where the act was committed.
    2. Open burning of solid waste or operating with pieces of equipment that violate sanitation requirements will be fined not less than Php 300 and/or imprisonment of 1 to 15 days.
    3. Causing or allowing the collection of non-segregated wastes and the open dumping of waste materials in flood-prone areas will be fined not less than Php 1,000 and/or imprisonment of 15 days to 6 months in the city where the act was committed.

    A cleanup event by the DENR in January of last year.

    Here’s to hoping for a cleaner, greener future!

    Also read: Eco Hotel Philippines Opens Their First Ever Eco-Store In Makati And Tagaytay!

    Sources: Environmental Management Bureau, National Solid Waste Management Commission
    Photos courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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