Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Help reduce holiday trash, public told

It is holiday gift-giving again, but unfortunately this is also the time when the country’s use of disposable goods such as Styrofoam and other polystyrene containers and plastic spoons and forks increases alarmingly.

Green advocates led by the EcoWaste Coalition, pleaded to the public to keep their use of disposable party wares to a minimum to reduce the country’s holiday trash.

The coalition suggested the use of regular chinaware, metal cutlery, and glass that can be washed and used over and over again.

Likewise, using banana leaves laid on reusable wicker or bamboo woven plates can also help reduce the amount of plastic discards that we generate this season, it said.

For office parties, EcoWaste asked employees to bring their own sets of plates and utensils, while companies could also set aside a small budget for stocking their office pantries with reusable cutlery instead of issuing disposables for everyday use.

It said the money saved from buying disposables could instead go towards rewarding green employees or could be used to provide food for the less fortunate, such as the itinerant and dumpsite-based waste pickers, as part of a corporate social responsibility program.

The group also asked consumers to bring their own containers when buying cooked food in bulk, or request that items be packaged using biodegradable materials.

“’Holitrash (holiday trash) is one of the biggest contributors to the mountains of garbage that the country has to contend with,” EcoWaste president Roy Alvarez said.

“There really is no need to use disposable items in Christmas parties when clearly there are many alternatives out there,” he added.


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