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PHS best in solid waste management By Marionne I.

Cayanan
Friday, June 27, 2014
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Pampanga High School (PHS)
was awarded as best school for its ecological solid waste
management during the Search for the Model Barangay at the
Heroes Hall last Wednesday.
PHS was recognized by the City Environment and Natural
Resources Office and Mother Earth Foundation for its clean
school environment and the implementation of waste
segregation in the campus.
According to PHS principal Jennifer Cunanan, the school is
aiming for zero waste in line with the city governments
program.
"We are implementing programs and projects in connection
with the celebration of environment month and we are
conducting seminars to our students because our school aims
for zero waste," she said.
She also added that in winning the best school award is the
"Shoot that Kalat" and "Shoot that Bottle" project of the Youth
for Environment in Schools' Organization or YES-O.
YES-O adviser Adrian Reyes said the "Shoot that Kalat" and
"Shoot that Bottle" were designed to reduce and recycle used
pet bottles, which are soild to junkshops in exchange for cash.
He pointed out that the money generated from projects are
used to fund the construction of metal baskets and rings and
for other projects of YES-O.
EcoWaste Coalition Hails Makati Plastic Bag and Styro
Ban (Calls for a Nationwide Legislation Against the Use
of Plastic and Other Non-biodegradable Packaging
Materials)
The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental network upholding
responsible consumption and zero waste, lauded the
implementation of City Ordinance No. 2003-095, banning the
use, sale and distribution of plastic, polystyrene and other
non-biodegradable packaging materials in Makati City starting
June 20.
We laud the government and people of Makati for this longoverdue environmental policy that will certainly contribute to
a cleaner and greener city. Makati has now joined a growing
club of enlightened local government units that have taken
bold action to cap the unrelenting consumption and disposal
of plastic bags, said Sonia Mendoza, head of the EcoWaste
Coalitions Task Force on Plastics.
Mendoza, who also chairs the Mother Earth Foundation,
pointed out that since the measure took nine long years
before its implementation, business establishments have no
alibi not to comply.
As the plastic bag and styro ban goes full blast, we urge
everyone to throw their maximum support behind the
environmental ordinance and tell the world that Makati, the
nations premier business capital, means business in
protecting the environment, she added.
The ordinance upholds the use of environment-friendly
materials as it prohibits business establishments from
offering, selling, using or distributing plastic bags for use as
primary or secondary packaging on dry goods, or as
secondary packaging for wet goods, and altogether banning
Styrofoam (polystyrene) and other materials with nonbiodegradable components as containers for food, drinks,
utensils and other products.
The ordinance also requires all covered establishments
including barangay halls to place visibly marked Plastic Bag
Recovery Bins at accessible areas such as building entrances

and exits to serve as drop-off points for easy collection,


recycling and disposal of plastic bags.
This measure comes after the nine-year grace period for
business establishments to comply with the said ordinance
expired last December 2012, and was subsequently extended
by Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay through Executive Order No.
007-2012 until June 20 upon appeals from the business sector.
Individual violators will be fined P1,000 or imprisoned for five
to 30 days, or both, depending on the court. On the other
hand, owners of corporations and establishments found
violating the ban have to pay a fine of P5,000 or face
imprisonment from 30 days to a year, or both, and face the
possibility of having their business permits or licenses
revoked.
With this ban, Makati joins more than 50 local government
units all over the country, including at least 9 cities in Metro
Manila with similar policies in place.
Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition calls for stricter measures
on a nationwide scale as more localities have yet to adopt
similar ordinances while some LGUs are reluctant to impose
such bans because of the economic pressure from the plastic
industry.
In order to institutionalize a nationwide plastic bag ban, we
need an effective legislation that will truly curb wasteful
consumption and indiscriminate disposal of plastic bags,
exacerbating floods amid worsening climate conditions,
Mendoza cited.
The EcoWaste Coalition reiterated the need to ban all forms of
plastic bags, including oxo-biodegradable plastic bags as
"these will just disintegrate into smaller and relatively toxic
plastic bits, and upon mix-up with house dust, pose a greater
health hazard to residents, most especially to children.
-endReferences:
http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/news/view.jsp?id=3028
http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/news/view.jsp?id=3019

Since biodegradable products were introduced in the


1980s, our society has expanded the list of potential
applications as well as the varieties of products and
their sources.
New to biodegradable products and compostable products?
Need to brush up on your knowledge of the industry? This
article is for you. It will give you a great overview of the
processes involved as well as the pros and cons of using
biodegradable products. Our purpose in writing this article is
to educate and inform all interested parties about the facts
concerning biodegradable products.
An analysis of the relationship between lifestyle traits, social
influence, people's attitudes towards innovations and the
adoption of advanced fast paced lifestyle contributes to the
favor of plastic usage. Based on a random sample of 1000 US
consumers, it is shown that people who travel, conduct
business meeting, held home and business parties are highly
dependent on plastics. Also social influence and attitudes
towards innovations are relevant additions to the continued
usage of plastics. People nowadays stressed importance to
convenience over the global over-consumption crisis.
Since the 1980's more people shifted to disposable habits and
consumption of throwaway plastics. We see it being used daily
and in mass quantities as take-out containers at restaurants,
as coffee cups in the office, and as packing material. We use
plastics for just about anything because it's cheap, effective,
and lightweight which complements to our instant way of life.

Plastic bags, styrofoam and other to-go containers are now


the primary mode of packing and transporting food. Our
attitude to appealing presentation also made us love to
choose food items with appealing packaging especially when
it is for travel; we want our food to be neatly wrapped and
secured. We also cite our busy life at work, school and many
more activities as just another reason to use disposable wares
so we can save time; not worrying about the hassle of dirty
dishes.
In as much as we enjoyed our advanced lifestyle we are now
facing several environmental issues and their impact to our
ecosystem. We now depend on ecosystem benefits such as
food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs. But what do we
have now? Storms, floods, decreasing number, variety and
variability of living organisms, all kinds of pollutants and most
importantly the inadequacy of water resources.
Climate change has the potential to alter sensitive marine,
freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems in many regions, due
to possible temperature increases, changes in precipitation,
sea-level rises, and the increased frequency of extreme
events. Impacts on ecosystems can be made worse, or in
many cases completely overshadow future changes in land
use.
Changes in ecological conditions may favor the spread of
pathogens, parasites, and diseases, with potentially serious
effects on human health, agriculture, and fisheries. The
increase in average temperature could increase the number of
heat-related illnesses and deaths. Warmer temperatures could
increase the concentrations of unhealthy air and water
pollutants. Heat waves can lead to heat stroke and
dehydration. Young children, older adults, people with medical
conditions, and the poor are more vulnerable than others to
heat-related illness. Heat waves are also often accompanied
by periods of stagnant air, leading to increases in air pollution
and the associated health effects.
Higher air temperatures can increase cases of salmonella and
other bacteria-related food poisoning because bacteria grow
more rapidly in warm environments. These diseases can
cause gastrointestinal distress and, in severe cases, death.
Flooding and heavy rainfall can cause overflows from sewage
treatment plants into fresh water sources. Overflows could
contaminate certain food crops with pathogen-containing
feces. Heavy rainfall or flooding can increase water-borne
parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia that are
sometimes found in drinking water. Heavy rainfall events
cause storm water runoff that may contaminate water bodies
used for recreation (such as lakes and beaches) with other
bacteria. Gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and
the intestines that can cause symptoms such as vomiting,
headaches, and fever are the most common illnesses
contracted from contamination at beaches.
In some regions of the world, these impacts may compromise
food security and threaten human health through
malnutrition, the spread of infectious diseases, and food
poisoning. The worst of these effects are projected to occur in
developing countries, among vulnerable populations.
The products obtained from ecosystems, including genetic
resources, food and fiber, and fresh water, the benefits
obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes,
including the regulation of climate, water, and some human
diseases, the non-material benefits people obtain from
ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive
development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experience,
including knowledge systems, social relations, and aesthetic
values and the ecosystem services that are necessary for the
production of all other ecosystem services including biomass
production, production of atmospheric oxygen, soil formation

and retention, nutrient cycling, water cycling, and provisioning


of habitat. These benefits that we expect to have constantly
may be limited or worst, their overuse and abuse may lead to
the harm of the world's poorest people.
Styrofoam
Effects to Human Health
Chemicals in Styrofoam can seriously put our health at risk. A
few studies have shown that long-term exposure to styrene
decreases birth rates, increases the risk for leukemia and
lymphoma, and has devastating effects on the liver, kidney,
and stomach. Heating our food on styro packaging releases
toxic fumes that increase the risk of health problems over a
period of time. Exposure to styrene can cause eye and
mucous membrane irritation, and gastrointestinal harm.
Eventually long term styrene exposure would b dangerous,
causing headaches, depression, fatigue, weakness, and
hearing loss.
Harm to the Environment
Besides the dangers of producing EPS, Styrofoam takes
hundreds of years to decompose naturally. There are few
known methods of breaking it down quickly though. And since
expanded plastic foam is an end product, it cannot be
recycled into different products, only reincarnated as itself.
Recycling options are very limited since the process of melting
EPS into a liquid state and then reforming it is too laborintensive and toxic for recycling centers to handle. Also
technology for this processing is limited to a number of
recycling centers, so people turn to an easy option of just
throwing it away.
Moreover, recycling centers do not collect expanded plastic
foam because it will cost them much more than recycling
glass which costs usually at about $100 per ton, EPS costs
around $3000 per ton to recycle . Another reason why people
do not recycle EPS is because the requirements of the
process. Expanded plastic foam is formed into many different
things which accordingly will have variations of rules and
regulations for recycling. For all these restrictions on EPS
recycling, others just choose to to throw away 25,000,000,000
Styrofoam coffee cups every year. Imagine the the Earth filled
of these which does not even count other expanded plastic
foam products. Un-recycled Styrofoam in landfills breaks down
into small pieces and carried away by wind into the ocean and
the environment. Marine animals and birds mistake these
white pieces of EPS as food causing a whole chain of events
that eventually affects our health and the planet. When we
eat marine life that feed on toxic EPS, we are also taking in
these harmful chemicals to our bodies.
Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution has become a global phenomenon across the
globe and even to the most remote locations. Harmful
chemicals contained in plastics are present in the bloodstream
and tissues of almost each one of us. Plastic is not
biodegradable. It only breaks down into smaller particles
whereby its toxic chemicals are ingested by wildlife which we
have also consumed. In the U.S., it is confirmed that average
consumer produces a half-pound of plastic waste daily. Around
the world, some 300 million tons of the material are produced
each year-a figure poised to expand, as new forms of plastics
are devised to serve a voracious global appetite. Effects to
human health are slowly felt and becoming controversial.
Two classified plastic-related chemicals are of critical concern
for human health: bisphenol-A or BPA and phthalates ,an
additive used in the synthesis of plastic. Experts explains that

plastics are polymers-long chains of molecules usually made


of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and/or silicon, which are
chemically bonded or polymerized. BPA is a basic building
block of polycarbonate plastics, such as those used for bottled
water, food packaging and other items. Since the 1940s, BPA
has been recognized as an endocrine disrupting chemical that
is said to affect normal hormonal function.
Aside from the health risks about BPA another fact is that
other ingredients - such as plasticizers - are usually added to
plastics. These potentially toxic components also leach out
gradually for sometime. Like for example, the most common
is a chemical known as di-ethylhexyl phthalate or DEHP. In
some products the chemical may go directly into the
bloodstream which cannot detoxify. This means unhealthy
exposure levels, and can indirectly impact in susceptible
populations such as newborns. Infants and pregnant or
nursing mothers are particularly on a high risk for toxic
exposure or passage of BPA and additives like DEHP.
Advanced Consumer Solution
Awareness had increasingly made society to begin to make
wiser choices and many manufacturers's have developed
more sustainable products, formed from biodegradable, nontoxic chemical building blocks. Successful studies have
affirmed a number of petroleum-free construction materials as
a smart and sustainable plastic alternative. Today, new forms
of food wares made from renewable materials that are
digestible by microorganisms. The ideas are being made

available to reduced and eventually eliminate health and


environmental concerns of plastics and styrofoam.
Among the number of genuine initiatives is what Nature
House Brand has for the unified aim of eliminating plastic and
turn society to use conventional plastic made from bagasse of
sugarcane, plant starch such as cornstarch and potato
peelings. Alfred of Nature House Brand focuses on
manufacturing these food containers made from renewable
products. His products can be bought through Walmart and
other online stores. Big and small businesses can also place
direct order for Nature House Brand food containers with the
assurance of receiving healthy, safe and eco-friendly product.
Going green is the principal mission of Nature House Brand for
everyone across the globe and of course without neglecting
the importance of convenience, safety and durability of these
to-go containers.
The durability of Nature House Brand products is
unquestionable but to clarify these renewable products can
break down and decompose naturally. For products made from
sugarcane waste particularly the food trays can breakdown in
landfills within thirty to sixty days in maximum. Also food
cutlery and utensils can decay under natural conditions when
it goes to landfills by sixty to ninety days. For
environmentalists and concern individuals, Nature House
Brand gets two thumbs up.