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Practice 5 Rs to help the environment

04:02 AM December 17, 2019

“Basura Mo, Itapon Mo!” This has been the slogan for responsible garbage waste disposal ever since I can remember.

Color-coded trash bins are seen everywhere as well. But in reality, most Filipinos are not mindful at all about which bin color they should throw their trash in.

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And the manner by which the trash bins are collected — all the recyclables, nonrecyclables and perishables dumped collectively in one smelly and dirty garbage truck — is discouraging, and makes us wonder why we even bother to segregate the waste in the first place.

The collected garbage is then dumped all together in a landfill. Left to disintegrate, if they can disintegrate at all, they contribute to micro-pollution, especially from plastics.

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There have been laudable programs by some LGUs regarding waste segregation, but as I see it, the challenge is sustainability.

“Out of sight, out of mind” seems to be the norm at this point.

If more people would just pocket that candy wrapper until a trash bin is in sight, or not just flick their cigarette butts onto any open space, or motorists to stop making the roads their garbage can, then we’re on our way to better garbage disposal.

Reducing the use of single-use plastics is also a major factor in solving the ballooning garbage problem. More recycling centers should be put up as well. And bringing your own cutlery, metal or bamboo straws, mugs, etc. are all helpful steps to reducing garbage.

There is a growing movement for zero-waste living among civic-minded, Earth-minded individuals. Facebook has many group pages devoted to zero waste lifestyles and sustainability practices. Reduce, reuse, recycle (the 3Rs) has been the motto for many years now.

But to keep up with the times, the motto has changed to the 5Rs: REFUSE single-use plastics, REDUCE waste especially plastic waste, REUSE what can be reused, RECYCLE, and lastly, let ROT the perishables, which can be composted for gardens.

I hope and pray that more people would practice the 5Rs, for a greener planet that the next generation could enjoy.

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PAMELA I. CLAVERIA, MD
[email protected]

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TAGS: garbage disposal, Inquirer letters, Pamela I. Claveria, waste segregation, waster disposal
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