DENR reminds of proper management of holiday waste amid pandemic


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 24) — Environment officials are asking the public to be mindful of their waste as families celebrate holidays amid a pandemic.

“[W]henever we buy, use, or consume something, it is always beneficial to consider if it saves landfill space, raw materials and natural resources such as energy, water, and money,” said Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda in a statement Thursday.

The official enjoined the public to minimize waste as households prepare for Christmas and New Year. For instance, families may opt to shop for their own groceries and prepare food at home instead of getting food delivered or dining outside. They should also refrain from using disposable plates and cutlery, he added.

When it comes to purchasing goods, the official asked the public to refrain from buying in excess and choose products with little packaging. Shoppers are also encouraged to use reusable bags or eco-bags, buy local and in bulk, and purchase long-lasting goods and presents over disposable ones.

Meanwhile, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu reminded the public anew to segregate garbage made over celebrations held for the rest of the year.

Waste must be separated properly into compostable, recyclable, non-recyclable and special waste. Food waste should be thrown into the compostable garbage bin, food containers like glasses, cans and plastic bottles under recyclables, while plastic bags, used plastic or paper cups and tetra packs must be grouped under non-recyclable trash.

Special waste has two kinds: hazardous and healthcare. Used face masks, face shields and gloves are examples of healthcare wastes, while hazardous wastes include the likes of batteries, charging cables and other electrical and electronic equipment.

“As we hold a more intimate holiday celebration with our immediate families, let’s be extra careful on the safety of our health and the environment by practicing responsibility and sustainability,” said Cimatu.

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