Mon, 10 Aug 2020

Siquijor continues to gear for #ZeroWaste amid COVID-19

Philippine Information Agency
14 Jul 2020, 16:38 GMT+10

BAYANIHAN. Construction of MRF by barangay councilors and other officials and volunteers of Barangay Basac in Larena, Siquijor using only indigenous materials and madre de cacao as fence trees as as fence. (rac/PIA-Siquijor with photo from MJ Banglos/Zero Waste Foundation)

SIQUIJOR, July 14 (PIA) -- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province of Siquijor continues to strengthen its efforts to campaign towards zero waste.

Notably, the province has been strongly advocating for a zero-waste province and passed an ordinance regulating and banning the use of single-use plastics since last year.

Just recently, it has amended this ordinance which now strengthens plastic use regulation and prohibitions.

Under the amended ordinance numbered 005-2019, all plastic bags are prohibited all days of the week, including the so called "oxo-degradable" or bio-degradable bags.

Selling of styrofoam and other single-use plastic disposable containers are strictly prohibited.

Two more days are declared as plastic holidays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, in addition to Sundays.

Pre-packed fruits and vegetables are also prohibited in the market and fruit stands and shall not be allowed to display unless these items are stripped of its plastic wrap.

The ordinance also promotes the "Bring Your Own Eco-Kit Program" that consists of reusable bags, reusable drinking containers, plate, spoon, fork, and reusable containers for food.

To address the serious problems on waste management, the province has also partnered with Mother Earth Foundation (MEF), a non-profit organization that specializes in waste management.

"We are very happy with this 'Bring Your Own Eco-Kit Program' because it can significantly reduce the amount of wastes thrown every day. People shouldn't be too dependent on throw-away items because it's convenient, but rather invest in reusable items because it saves them more money in the long run. More than that, it keeps our earth free from trash and pollution. Bringing your own tumbler instead of buying bottled waters can already make a significant difference," Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) said in a statement.

The province, through the organization, has been working closely at the barangay level to educate households on proper waste segregation and offering technical assistance to barangay councils on how to manage these wastes.

Aside from being busy building quarantine facilities to address the increasing number of locally stranded individuals and OFWs, barangays have also been addressing the problem of wastes through building materials recovery facility (MRF) and arrange its waste collection system.

The council of different barangays have also been working closely with MEF Siquijor to conduct massive information and education campaign via "bandillo" through which households are taught how to do segregation at source.

"We really encourage the households to segregate their waste at home properly para dili hazardous sa mag segregate sa MRF (so that it won't be hazardous to those working and segregating in the materials recovery facility.) Siquijor is a paradise that needs to be protected. In order to preserve its natural beauty and cleanliness, the people living in the island should protect it themselves by learning how to manage their wastes," the MEF said.

Siquijor is the first island in the Philippines to adapt the zero waste program. (rac/PIA7-Siquijor/MJBanglos/Communication Officer MEF Siquijor)

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