By: Saul Pa-a
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 4-A (Calabarzon) is encouraging candidates in the recent elections and their supporters, as well as local communities, to recycle their campaign materials.
DENR 4-A Executive Director Maria Paz Luna told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday that they fully support the call made by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for all candidates to take the lead in the cleanup drive to rid the region of the election campaign materials.
Luna said they expect the volume of waste to increase due to the campaign materials that would be taken down from various sites and dumped in public areas.
“We hope these wastes do not end up in bodies of water and farther to the seas,” she said.
Luna explained that although the sizes and capacities of sanitary landfills remain the same, there is still a need to reduce solid wastes.
Through the upcycling method, she said, wastes could be turned into useful products.
Thus, campaign posters, tarpaulins, sample ballots, flyers and leaflets, which would only end up as garbage, could be converted by “Junk Not! Eco-Creatives”, a Laguna-based social enterprise, into upcycled and recycled materials, she added.
Wilhelmina Garcia, award-winning interior designer, and owner of Junk Not!, said they will only accept the discarded campaign ad materials if the upcycled and recycled products would be bought back from them.
These campaign materials could be converted into chairs, shoe bags, ballpen or pencil cases, and purses, among others, and they could be donated to schools.
“This kind of buy-back model will make future waste producers think twice,” Luna said. “This is an opportunity for individuals to create value around products that would otherwise end up in sanitary landfills or illegal dumpsites.”
Junk Not! Eco-Creatives promotes creative ways to transform everyday trash and other solid trash into usable and functional items by empowering local communities to be responsible stewards of the environment. (PNA)