Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rampant use of plastic fiesta bunting deplored

Green advocates appealed on Wednesday to the city government of Manila to call on residents to refrain from using environmentally unfriendly plastic fiesta bunting to celebrate the feast of Santo Niño this weekend.

EcoWaste Coalition particularly sought Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim’s intervention as various villages and neighborhood associations started decorating streets and alleys with plastic bunting in celebration of the popular feast of Santo Niño de Pandacan and the Santo Niño de Tondo.

The group’s Basura Patrol visited Pandacan yesterday and noted that some 55,000 pieces of red thin-film bags were used to decorate a portion of Narciso St. in Barangay 848, Zone 92, which has an approximate length of less than 500 meters.

According to village councilman Rez Cabunilas, some 15,000 pieces of plastic bags were consumed in Barangay 833, Zone 91 in Pandacan and Talundon streets.

Meanwhile Kagawads Violeta Casidsid and Luzviminda Armobit reported that some 15,000 pieces were used on Adolfo St. and another 16,000 pieces on Laura St., both in Barangay 862, Zone 94.

As per Barangay 862 officials, the thin-film plastic bags cost P56 per 1,000 pieces.

On top of this, they also have to spend for at least two rolls of plastic rope per street at R50 per roll and also for “alambre” at P75 per kilo, EcoWaste pointed out.

While expressing concern over the rampant use of plastic bags as bunting, the group commended the Santo Niño de Pandacan Parish for the smart use of reusable cloth decorations at the church patio.

“The imprudent use of new thin-film plastic bags as fiesta bunting, which are surely doomed to the dumpsite after the festivities, is not acceptable amid the garbage and climate woes that the nation is trying to come to grips with,” EcoWaste president Roy Alvarez said.

“The application of these disposable bags as bunting represents a very short-lived, superficial and non-essential use of plastic bags, which, while sold cheaply, require lots of raw materials and fuels to manufacture and trade,” he added.

Alvarez noted that it is simply not sustainable to be spending for disposable decors that would add to the city’s waste problem and to environmental pollution not only in places where the bunting are hanged but also in distant communities where these are later dumped or burned.

“We therefore appeal to Mayor Lim, Vice Mayor (Isko) Moreno and other city officials to intervene, support and echo our environmental appeal to their constituents for a greener fiesta,” Alvarez said.

“If Manila will initiate measures to control and eliminate wasteful fiesta habits, we are certain that the entire country will take notice and follow suit,” he added.

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