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EcoWaste Coalition appeals for reduced waste at home during quarantine

/ 12:50 PM March 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — While families stay home during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, one environmental group calls for households to reduce waste, especially those that come with food.

EcoWaste Coalition said Thursday that an increased amount of waste can come from households during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as more people order take-out and consume perishable food.

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It noted however that the volume of commercial waste has declined while businesses shut down during the quarantine period.

If one must order food from outside, it suggested to decline receiving single-use utensils, straws, and stirrers. It advised to prepare a weekly meal plan and “only cook or prepare food that can be consumed” to achieve zero food waste at home.

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Steps can be taken to minimize waste while doing the grocery too, such as bringing reusable bags and containers. It encouraged buying healthy food such as fruits, vegetables and root crops, some of which have peels that can be composted.

EcoWaste also recommended separating infectious waste such as face masks, tissue, and wipes from the rest of the household garbage.

“While the coronavirus is transmitted mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets, it is also possible for a person to get infected by touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching his mouth, nose or eyes.” Jove Benosa of EcoWaste Coalition said.

The group, which advocates for a zero waste and toxics-free society, cited benefits in reducing waste for health such as preventing exposure to germs and depriving disease-carrying pests, like rats and mosquitoes, of places to breed and live.

It mentioned too that zero-waste practices have benefits for the environment, namely that less single-use plastic will accumulate, greenhouse gases can be reduced in disposal sites and chemical pollutants can be prevented from leaking into marine ecosystems.

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TAGS: community quarantine, Coronavirus, COVID-19, EcoWaste Coalition, environment, NcoV, plastic pollution, zero waste
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