Guard Your Child’s Health: 10 Essential Tips for Chemical-Free Back-to-School Shopping in the Philippines

Philippines Chemical-Free Back-to-School Shopping
Discover the EcoWaste Coalition’s top 10 tips for chemical-free back-to-school shopping in the Philippines. EcoWaste photo of Divisoria market where Filipinos seek out low-priced school supplies.

With the hustle and bustle of preparing for school year 2023-2024 just around the corner (starting August 29), it’s crucial to ensure our children are equipped with safe school essentials. The EcoWaste Coalition, a dedicated non-profit that meticulously oversees children’s product safety, has dished out game-changing advice for parents. Their tips aim to ensure every Filipino student has access to the non-toxic, safe supplies they rightly deserve.

Let’s face it – kids are far more vulnerable to the adverse effects of hazardous chemicals than adults. Their curious little minds and still-developing bodies can inadvertently expose them to unwanted health risks. Some school supplies, despite appearing harmless, can harbor menacing chemicals like cadmium, lead, and the notorious phthalates found in PVC plastics.

- Advertisement -HSBC HSBC

In its safe-shopping list released on August 7, the EcoWaste Coalition stresses the importance of taking that extra step to keep our kids safe. When children are exposed to these dangerous chemicals, the potential health ramifications are more severe given their developing brains, bodies, and immune systems. Plus, let’s not forget their natural tendencies to explore and, at times, taste their surroundings!

Now, let’s jump into those 10 golden nuggets of advice that will make your next back-to-school shopping spree a breeze:

  1. Plan Ahead: Jot down a shopping list before hitting the stores or the web. This not only keeps impulsive buying at bay but also ensures you pick the safest options for your kiddos. While you’re at it, use reusable bags and revisit older supplies for potential reuse to save both the environment and your wallet.
  2. Labels Don’t Lie: Always check labels for crucial info like age appropriateness, hazard warnings, and any safety guidelines.
  3. Sniff Out PVC: Steer clear of PVC-laden products like backpacks or lunchboxes. A strong chemical whiff or markings like “3”, “PVC”, or “V” are red flags.
  4. Erasers, Keep It Simple: Opt for erasers tagged “phthalate-free” or “PVC-free”. Those shaped like treats or emitting a fragrance might be fun, but they can tempt kids to taste the item.
  5. Notebook Nuances: Skip notebooks with PVC covers or plastic-coated spirals.
  6. Paper Clip Picks: Go for plain metal paper clips. Those vibrant-colored ones might have a PVC coating.
  7. Fresh Air Fix: If you’ve unwittingly bought smelly plastic goods, like rain gear or backpacks, air them out under the sun to neutralize the odor.
  8. Art Supplies Alert: Be wary of crayons and watercolors blacklisted by health experts due to heavy metals, especially the nefarious lead.
  9. Safety in Simplicity: Select basic art supplies labeled “non-toxic” and ensure they have identifiable manufacturer markings.
  10. Water Bottles Wisdom: Choose unpainted stainless steel bottles. If they’re painted, ensure the paint is certified “lead-safe.”

The EcoWaste Coalition firmly believes that no child should be exposed to hazardous chemicals, be it in their school supplies or toys. After all, these tools are meant to foster their growth and development, not hinder it. Let’s make sure we give our young learners the safe start they deserve!

SHARE THIS STORY to help Filipino families who are shopping for back-to-school items for their children.

Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. TELL US your good news story tips by messaging on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or e-mailing

Facebook Comments

- Advertisement -
The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.