By Chito Chavez
An environmental group said the unsightly mounts of trash scattered at Manila Bay is living proof that garbage thrown eventually comes back to the public.
This unfortunate reality is further established as the mostly non-biodegradable waste materials have turned the stretch of Roxas Boulevard into a dumpsite as the discards have spilled on the roadway.
Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition branded the mess as a clear indication of the society’s failure to unlearn reckless disposal and to learn the environment-friendly way of managing discards.
“The heaps of trash sent back by the angry bay should rouse everyone, especially litterbugs, from the seeming lack of environmental awareness and responsibility,” said Daniel Alejandre, zero waste campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“The message is clear: We must stop treating Manila Bay like a garbage dump. We must unlearn the bad habit of throwing discards anywhere to prevent the bay from tossing garbage on us,” he added.
He said the largely plastic waste materials washed by the bay should further remind the public of the need to undo the practice of producing, buying, using and disposing of single-use plastics and other disposables.
“Manufacturers, in particular, need to find alternatives to throw-away plastic packaging that is polluting water bodies like Manila Bay with plastics and chemicals,” he added
According to the EcoWaste Coalition, the garbage surge in Roxas Boulevard is more than an eyesore.
“Irresponsibly thrown discards can lead to a wide range of problems, including poor hygiene and sanitation, flashfloods, leptospirosis, dengue and other diseases, human exposure to hazardous substances, ocean pollution, and economic losses,” Alejandre said.
To prevent and reduce garbage, the group encouraged the public to observe these eco-tips:
· Never throw garbage on streets, storm drains, creeks and vacant lots.
· Segregate discards at source, reuse, recycle and compost.
· Do not leave garbage outside your home or workplace; wait for the waste collection service to come.
· Discourage others from dumping trash, including tiny but toxic cigarette butts.
· Buy in bulk as much as possible, avoid buying products in excessive packaging or in sachet packs, and opt for items in reusable or recyclable containers.
“The ecological management of discards will require a shift from the outmoded ‘buy, consume, dispose of, dump or burn’ mentality to a sustainable way of living that embraces environmental conservation, protection and care,” the group said.