NegOr, Siquijor advocates go for zero waste drive



To sustain and deliver the concept of zero waste, youth advocates and schools in Negros Oriental and Siquijor merged during the Zero Waste Youth Convergence at Sofia Soller Sinco Hall, Foundation University (FU) last January 27.

Organized by Zero Waste Youth-Negros Oriental, War on Waste-Break Free from Plastic Negros Oriental and ADUNA, the union gathered more than 100 participants and aimed to continue achieving the dream to live in a sustainable city without suffering from plastic pollution.

Zero Waste Youth Negros Oriental Convener and one of the event directors, Mark Krylle D. Paitan, believed that introducing the public with ways to beat plastic pollution like the 7Rs of Sustainability: refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, repurpose, recycle and rot will likely lessen consumption of plastic wastes.

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly,” Paitan said.

He added that this gathering will soon create a youth network of students in Negros Oriental and Siquijor working towards a zero waste advocacy.

Zero waste, according to the activity’s rationale, is a concept where waste production is minimized and can be equated to the Cebuano term “wala’y usik”.

Meanwhile, the participants were immersed into experiential activities like Waste Assessment and Brand Audit (WABA) where they learned to segregate garbage into recyclable, residual, and biodegradable, and discovered companies who are potential contributors of plastic wastes.

They also presented written plans of action to create a more sustainable impact among the youth in their respective communities.

Aside from Paitan, among the speakers present in the event were: Froilan Garate, Regional Director of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA); Dr. Jorge O. Emmanuel, DOST Balik Scientist; and Tiara Samson, Global Coordinator of Plastic Free Campuses campaign of Break Free From Plastic.

They discussed topics including the international definition of zero waste, true and false solutions emerging from zero waste initiatives of Asian cities and the Philippines, composition of plastic and its public and environmental health threat, and the plastic free campuses campaign.

Furthermore, a grand symposium and open forum on zero waste initiatives in Negros Oriental and Siquijor were tackled together with: Leodegario Rosales, Zero Waste Walk Coordinator; Aprille Roselle Vince Juanillo, Silliman University Student Government President; Eula Libo-on, CEO and co-founder of Lipay Mundo, Co.; Teresa Bayon, Lazi Technical and Agricultural School Faculty; Ritchie Jane Aresgado, Supreme Student Government President at Lazi Provincial Science High School; and Ruselle Jamili, FU Faculty.

To note, the same event had also happened on January 16, 2018 commemorating the Zero Waste Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No.760, signed on May 5, 2014.

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