What comes after the election is trash, literally. In an Opinion piece by the Manila Bulletin, it is reported that 59,846 tons of solid waste per day were generated around the country, according to the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). That’s prior to the 2022 election’s campaign period. And with the myriad of campaign materials used in different parts of the country, it is likely that more waste will be collected this time.
In fact, during the midterm election’s campaign season in 2019, “the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) disclosed that it had collected 29 truckloads equivalent to 200.37 tons or 705.34 cubic meters of campaign-generated waste” from March 1 to May 16. To keep that massive amount of trash from landfills, many set their eyes on upcycling these items.
Fashion designer Mara Chua demonstrates first what could be done with the campaign tarpaulins used in this year’s election. Through an Instagram post, she shared her upcycled bags made of tarpaulins (tarps) that can be used by students.
“One Twitter #Kakampink suggested converting our tarps into school bags and [donating] them to minimize our waste—waste being a major problem after elections,” she posted. “I fell in love with the idea so I decided to make them as soon as possible with the tarps I have.”
According to her post, she and her team are still collecting tarps and they researching for partners that can help them distribute the finished products.
Watch Mara’s tutorial below:
If you, too, would like to do the same, youth organization Streets to Schools encourages people to bring their campaign materials for upcycling to select sites. “Election season has come to a close and we want to lessen the waste of campaign materials,” the group posted on Facebook. “Donate your pre-loved tarpaulins of support for your candidates and we will upcycle them into new products for the benefit of the children.”
Check out the post below to know more about where you can donate.
Kids Who Farm, an environmental and food advocate non-profit startup in Zamboanga City, also calls for campaign materials that will be upcycled into hydroponics growboxes for its partner community microfarms. You can check its post below to know where you can drop your donations off.