History of the Zero Waste Month
On May 5, 2014, President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Proclamation No. 760 declaring every month of January as “Zero Waste Month”. “Zero Waste,” according to the proclamation, “ is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use”.
This also coincides with the 15th and 14th year anniversaries of R.A. 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999 and R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 respectively, two landmark legislations that have provided comprehensive guidelines in addressing our country’s waste issue.
In 2012, Mother Earth Foundation organized the first ever Zero Waste Youth Convergence as part of the Zero Waste Festival. The Convergence and the succeeding workshops were attended by more than 5,000 youth leaders from all over the country. At the end of the Festival, the youth leaders issued a Zero Waste Youth Statement (below) which, among others, call for the celebration of a Zero Waste Month to create awareness among the youth.
In February 2013, a draft Presidential Proclamation was submitted by Mother Earth Foundation to the Office of the President. After consultation with the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), President Benigno Aquino officially issued Presidential Proclamation 760 declaring January as the Zero Waste Month in the Philippines.