Environmental group BAN Toxics reiterated its call against the use of firecrackers during the holidays.
“We call again the attention of the Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to step up and conduct on-site monitoring and confiscation of illegal and prohibited firecrackers as New Year’s Eve draws closer,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of the group in an interview with Radio Veritas 846.
“We appeal to all vendors to stop selling any prohibited firecrackers, especially to children,” he said, adding that children should be protected from toxic pollution from firecrackers and fireworks.
Data from the Department of Health show that fireworks-related injuries in 2021 reached 189, higher than the 123 cases in 2020.
The environmental group has earlier launched its annual school-based campaign promoting a toxic-free and waste-free Christmas celebration.
“It’s high time to raise awareness to our students, teachers, parents, and the community on the importance of promoting toxic-free and waste-free celebration in the country,” said Dizon.
BAN Toxics also noted that trash before and during the holiday season increases because people are busy decorating, gift shopping, and partying.
To further reduce the generation of waste during the holidays, BAN Toxics listed down the following tips:
- Prepare a list before going to the store to help avoid impulse buying.
- Bring reusable bags and containers for shopping to cut down the use of plastic bags.
- Christmas decorations, use eco-friendly materials or follow DIY decors using recycled materials.
- Buying Christmas lights and other electrical decorations, check the label properly, look for the PS Mark and ICC Sticker for safety standards.
- Holiday gatherings and parties, use reusable and washable plates, cups and cutlery.
- Choose toy gifts that have passed the labelling requirements under RA 10620.
- Gift wrapping, if needed, be creative and use waste-free gift wrapping ideas.
- Patronize locally-produced and/or home-made products, and help the local economy.
- Promote “gift-giving from the heart” such as donating to charity, giving gifts to the less fortunate, and other charitable and environmental activities.
- Minimize food waste, make an estimate of what to be consumed, share the leftover food to others or safely store for later consumption.
“We appeal to the public to be mindful of our holiday trash. Let’s practice reducing, reusing, and recycling. It is our duty and responsibility to reduce our exposure from toxic harm while enjoying the yuletide season,” read a BAN Toxics statement.
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