Green group calls for ban on ‘Undas’ political leaflets, tarps
A waste and pollution watchdog on Tuesday appealed to local governments and cemetery administrators to ban the distribution of commercial and political leaflets as well as the hanging of tarpaulins with “Undas” greetings and reminders to help reduce garbage during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The Ecowaste Coalition also said politicians, especially those running in the 2019 midterm elections, to restrain themselves from distributing leaflets and displaying tarpaulins to take advantage of Filipinos’ traditional commemoration of the dead.
“We urge all candidates not to use the cemeteries and the roads leading to their gates as a ‘common poster area’ to publicize their names and faces,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition.
“People go to cemeteries to offer flowers and prayers for their departed loved ones, and not to be bombarded with all sorts of political propaganda. No campaigning in cemeteries please,” she added.
The group said cemetery administrators should ban the dissemination of leaflets and hanging of Undas tarpaulins, especially from politicians, “to shield Undas from partisan politics.”
It also said that local government authorities should disallow the display of Undas tarpaulins along streets leading to cemetery entry points.
Lucero said the nailing of tarpaulins on trees should also be prohibited as this could only harm trees.
EcoWaste also expressed concern over the presence of hazardous substances such as cadmium and lead in tarpaulins that are usually made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.
“These tarpaulins will end up as garbage sooner or later. And these are not your ordinary garbage due to their toxic content,” Lucero said.
The group stressed that tarpaulins are not biodegradable and will take a very long time to decay in dumpsites and landfills, releasing their toxic additives in the process. /kga
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