Green group urges election winners to stop using tarpaulins 

May 16, 2022

EcoWaste Coalition on Monday urged politicians who won the May 9 elections to stop using plastic tarpaulins to thank their supporters.

The group said instead of producing more plastic waste, “politicians can express their (gratitude) by joining cleanup operations, supporting tarpaulin up-cycling for non-food and non-child uses, and planting trees.” 

Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of the group, said the post-election cleanup “has yet to be completed” but her organization is “already seeing newly printed ’thank you’ tarpaulins.”

“We can expect another garbage overload if all the proclaimed winners will put up ‘thank you’ tarpaulins individually or as a group,” she said. 

“We need to put a cap to the thoughtless use of tarpaulins, especially for political and other non-essential purposes, as these materials contain hazardous chemicals and are not easily recycled or disposed of,” she added.

Tarpaulins are often made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC plastic and may contain toxic chemical additives such as cadmium, lead, and phthalates.

In a laboratory test commissioned by the group, cadmium was found in all the analyzed samples of six presidential campaign tarpaulins, including that of presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Lucero appealed to politicians to “control their penchant to ‘tarpolize’ anything and everything” while plastic tarpaulins are not yet banned or regulated.

She called on the government to ban single-use plastics including the “unrestrained use of tarpaulins before, during and even after the electoral campaign.”

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