Just like the lyrics of the song, “Not All Heroes Wear Capes,” the newly born heroes of Quirino do not wear capes, do not use guns to fight criminals but they are armed with a mission to free the province from single-use plastics and every time we need them, they are our supermen.
Recently, a group of individuals with strong concern to save the environment from plastic wastes, formed a movement dubbed as “Quirino: Malinis at Luntiang ParaISO” with the ultimate goal to create a culture of zero waste community by strengthening the spirit of volunteerism among the Quirinians in taking care of the environment.
Spearheaded by the Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, the movement composed of students, young professionals, government employees from the local and national government and non-government offices who will be called “Clean and Green Heroes,” an environmental conservation organization.
Armed with their clean intention to prevent the province from indiscriminate discarding of single-use plastic, these heroes are bent on making a difference for a Zero Plastic-Waste Quirino Province by spearheading various clean-up drives and IEC campaigns in all barangays.
The first mission to maintain zero-waste events was first carried out during the Motorismo Festival. The heroes were stationed around the capitol area to see to it that no plastic wastes will be dumped everywhere. As expected, the campaign was a huge success!
Again, the group batted for a zero-waste birthday celebration of Governor Junie Cua last June 3. This time, there were lesser tarpaulins hung in the different venues to remind the people of the existing project but still, it was a success.
Water stations were installed to prevent the people from buying bottled water. All stores and restaurants around the capitol area were also requested to shift to biodegradable food containers instead of styros.
Some other activities like tree planting and gardening were launched to ensure the sustainability of the “Quirino Malinis at Luntiang ParaISO” movement.
This is in support to the goal of the province to sustain its ISO certification, to be at par with the provinces with internationally accepted systems of managing wastes.
The activities are all geared towards the attainment of the following objectives: Develop technical support and increase awareness for widespread participation through information education and communication campaigns; Set standard on evaluating zero waste management practices of institutions, social units and conducted programs; Capacitate, empower volunteers on mobilization on sustainable zero-waste promotions specially during provincial festivities and gatherings; Forge partnership with the local government units for highly motivated and committed political will and civic institutions in support to zero-waste management.
The movement shall also support the Environmental Management System (EMS) journey towards ISO certification of the province through PNREO including the DepEd and the six municipalities and create and develop a Provincial Comprehensive Plan for zero-waste community.
A proposed provincial ordinance on Regulation of Single-use Plastics, substantiating and strengthening the provisions of RA 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, was crafted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. If this will be approved, the zero single-use plastic policy will be implemented strictly with the help of the Clean and Green Heroes.
Along with laws obliging residents and businesses to stop using single-used plastics and reduce their wastes, the movement has launched a massive information campaign using all available platforms such as social media, radio, print, interpersonal communication and others.
The heroes will never get tired of reaching out to residents and businesses until they will be accustomed to adhering to environmental ethics and legislations. (ALM/TCB/PIA 2-Quirino)