The environmental advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition has appealed on all political parties and their candidates participating in the May 2019 midterm polls to keep their campaign meetings and sorties litter, smoke, and plastic-free to save the environment.

EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero said Thursday in a statement that waste and pollution watch groups in the country are challenging all political aspirants and party-list organizations “to show respect to the environment in words and in deeds” as campaign activities start on March 29.

“Our nation is badly in need of local leaders who will bravely take up the cudgels for Mother Earth and all creations amid the unfolding climate, chemical, and plastic crisis,” Lucero said.

She pointed out that what the country needs are “dedicated public servants who will help enforce laws and regulations that have been or have to be enacted to protect the public health and environment.”

Leaders who will champion pollution prevention policies and programs to halt the continued degradation of the environment due to wastes and pollutants coming from factories, farms, markets and even from our homes, schools, and offices are who should be given the chance to hold public offices.

Lucero said the EcoWaste Coalition is urging candidates to help in the protection and preservation of the environment into their campaign platforms.

As actions speak louder than words, the group reminded candidates to show they are pro-environment by mounting a clean and green campaign.

“Every campaign material used to woo voters – from paper to plastic – has to go somewhere after the election frenzy is over.  Some of these materials may be reused, repurposed and recycled, and, regrettably, most may end up being buried or burned and wasted forever,” Lucero said.

To prevent and reduce trash during the election campaign, the EcoWaste Coalition encouraged candidates to observe the following pointers:

* Stick to lawful propaganda materials and allowable campaign spending.

* Avoid campaign materials that are toxic, non-reusable or non-recyclable.

* For paper-based campaign materials, use post-consumer recycled paper.

* Incorporate this reminder on campaign materials: “Para sa ating kalusugan at kalikasan, huwag pong ikalat, itambak o sunugin” or their equivalent in local languages.

* Keep trees, lamp posts, and other disallowed places poster-free.

* Voluntarily take down all illegal campaign materials.

* Shun confetti, firecrackers, and balloons in campaign events, and immediately conduct post-event cleanup.

* Refrain from using Styrofoam, plastic bags and other single-use containers for meals and drinks.

* Remove, repurpose or recycle campaign materials immediately after the polling day.

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