04 January 2014

EcoWaste Coalition Offers Eco-Tips to Reduce Garbage and Improve Sanitation during the Black Nazarene Feast

As devotees of the Black Nazarene flock to Quiapo Church for the daily Novena masses leading up to the huge procession on January 9, a waste and pollution watchdog offered practical tips to make the religious feast garbage-free and clean.

The EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday released a list of waste prevention and sanitation tips addressed to the devotees, vendors, food and beverage givers and volunteers, as well as to the media crew who will cover the mammoth assembly.

“Ensuring a hygienic and litter-free fiesta projected to attract some 12 million people is a colossal task that will require extraordinary teamwork and solidarity,” said Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We therefore request one and all, especially the Black Nazarene devotees, to lend a hand and be part of the solution, not the problem,” she said.

To ease the waste and sanitation challenge that is sure to happen on January 9, the EcoWaste Coalition has put forward the following eco-tips:

I. For the devotees and everyone else: 1) abstain from smoking to avoid cigarette butt litter and if you do, please don’t toss butts on the ground; 2) if you chew gum, do put it in a bin after you’re done with it; 3) do not spit on walls and other spots; 4) do not urinate in the streets, 5) return used food and beverage containers, including bamboo skewers, to the vendors; 6) put your discards into the designated bins; and 7) bring a reusable bag for “pasalubong” to cut
on plastic waste.

II. For vendors: 1) refrain from using single-use disposable containers; 2) bring your own “sako” for your discards; and 3) make a final sweep of your vending area before you leave.

III. For food and beverage givers: 1) pack meals in biodegradable packaging such as banana leaves or serve meals, as well as drinks, in reusable containers; and 2) collect all food leftovers for “kaning baboy.”

IV. For the medical, security, fire and emergency personnel and volunteers, and the media: 1) bring your own “baon” in reusable containers and take them home afterward; 2) do not dispose of your food and beverage discards in Quiapo, next to your makeshift tents or vehicles.

On Monday, January 6, the EcoWaste Coalition and Buklod Tao will organize an environmental parade in the vicinity of Quiapo Church to gather support for a garbage-free fiesta.

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