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Eliminate single-use plastic banderitas in Santo Niño fiestas —EcoWaste

(Photo courtesy of EcoWaste Coalition)

As communities gear up to celebrate the highly anticipated feast of the Santo Niño, toxics watchdog EcoWaste Coalition is calling for a more environmentally conscious celebration by discouraging the use of single-use plastic banderitas and plastic tarpaulins.

In a statement released on Saturday, Jan. 13, the group discouraged the use of plastic “labo” (thin plastic without handles used as packaging for cooked and fresh food) and other disposable plastics as decorative banderitas.

Ochie Tolentino, of EcoWaste Coalition, emphasized the need to halt the reckless consumption of single-use plastics during community fiestas.

“Hardly reused or recycled, these throw-away decors only add to the volume of mixed garbage collected after the festivities,” she stated.

“Some of which may even end up polluting the marine environment with plastic, which eventually will break down into microplastic and move through the food chain,” she added.

As such, the watchdog highlighted the presence of cadmium, a cancer-causing chemical, in certain types of plastic used for making banderitas, lanterns, and other synthetic ornaments. EcoWasted noted that the laboratory tests they have commissioned found cadmium in tarpaulins made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, exceeding the European Union’s limit.

With this, the EcoWaste Coalition urged fiesta organizers, especially politicians, to refrain from using plastic tarpaulins and emphasized that such disposable decorations do not add genuine joy or meaning to the occasion.

The toxics watchdog noted that this call aligns with the “urgent call for ecological conversion” made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 2019 through a pastoral letter addressing the climate emergency. The bishops urged concrete ecological actions, including “minimizing the use of plastic and paper and eliminating single-use plastics, polystyrene, and the like.”

“We hope parishes and communities will heed our appeal and do away with the wasteful practice of adorning church patios, plazas, streets, and alleys with single-use plastic banderitas,” said Tolentino.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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