ZERO WASTE YOUTH STATEMENT 2015
In light of the ongoing efforts to suspend or amend environmental laws that will allow technologies that will further destroy and harm the environment; the worsening climate change as manifested by the occurrence of stronger and deadly storms like Ondoy and Yolanda; the perennial problem of flooding and growing volume of waste; and the billions of public funds allocated on unsustainable waste management practices:
We, the youth leaders of the Philippines, call on our leaders and officials from the national and local government, private sector and civil society, to work together in the attainment of the following goals to guarantee a clean, healthy and sustainable planet, for this and the future generation:
Ensure full implementation of Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, nationwide to conserve our precious natural and financial resources, and mitigate environmental degradation, climate change and public health hazards. We demand full compliance to all the provisions of R.A. 9003 from all local government units by 2020.
Adopt a gradually increasing Zero Waste target/guiding principle in waste reduction and management plans and systems at households, schools, communities, cities, and businesses beginning with 100% recovery of biodegradable and recyclable wastes.
Push for greater youth participation in the planning, development, and implementation of local and national environmental policies, programs and activities. Constituting a majority of our country’s population, the youth should have a voice that should be heard in all public policy and decision-making processes that concerns our future.
Reject dumping and burning as means of waste disposal. We strongly oppose any proposal to amend our environmental laws to allow incineration and other waste-to-energy burn technologies. Focus should instead be on proven non-burn solutions such as composting, reusing, and recycling prescribed in R.A. 9003, aligned with our constitutional right to clean air, good health and a balanced ecosystem.
Enact laws that will further reduce solid waste and protect the environment. We call on our legislators to craft and pass the Total Plastic Bag Ban Bill and Extended Producers’ Responsibility Bill to eliminate residual and hazardous wastes that pile up in landfills.
Support and promote the creation of more green jobs in the recycling and waste management sector to provide decent and dignified jobs to informal waste pickers and unemployed youth. In addition, support and mainstream community-based initiatives that help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, provide livelihood, and empower women and the youth.
Approved and signed this 7th day of January 2015, on the occasion of the 1st Zero Waste Month, Manila, Philippines