MANILA, Philippines – Keep public parks in the metropolis litter-free during the holidays.
“Year in and year out, many park visitors would leave their discards lying on the ground or throw them anywhere they please even in plant boxes and storm drains,” Ochie Tolentino of environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition said on Thursday, December 22.
Many holiday revelers welcome Christmas and New Year at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Rizal Park, and other open spaces but leave their litter – food leftovers and wrappers, polystyrene containers, paper and plastic bags, plastic bottles and cigarette butts – in public parks. (READ: Minimize your holiday trash, eco group reminds Filipinos)
EcoWaste Coalition appealed for consideration, especially since littering poses health and sanitation risks and is costly to manage.
Trash can become a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria, insects, and pests, including mosquitoes that carry chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. Children can be injured if they accidentally step on broken glass or bamboo skewers left scattered.
Littering is an offense under Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Tolentino pointed out. Violators can be fined from P300 to P1,000, asked to render community service, or be required to pay a fine as well as perform community service.
EcoWaste Coalition also urged park administrators to deploy extra sweepers to frequently sweep areas where people often hang out.
“Please be considerate and environmentally-responsible this time around. Please bring your discards to the assigned bins or bring them home for proper recycling or disposal,” Tolentino said.
Earlier this year, the group slammed as “totally unacceptable” the amount of garbage on the streets of Metro Manila on January 1, after New Year festivities in the metropolis. – Rappler.com
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