08 January 2015

EcoWaste Coalition Renews Appeal for Trash-Free "Traslacion"

A waste and pollution watchdog repeated its appeal to the devotees of the Black Nazarene not to strew garbage over Luneta and the processional route leading to the Quiapo Church as the annual “Traslacion” is commemorated on Friday.

For the nth time, the EcoWaste Coalition, reminded the anticipated 15 million devotees to be environmentally conscientious and responsible as they carry out their sacred vows.

“Please fulfill your vows in a way that will not harm others and the environment,” pleaded Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Littering sullies the surroundings and vilifies the age-old devotion of Filipino Catholics to the Black Nazarene,” she pointed out.

“Please have mercy and compassion for our fragile environment and prevent turning the “Traslacion” into a “trash-lacion,” she emphasized.

“Trash-lacion,” a word coined by the EcoWaste Coalition, is not meant to ridicule the pious devotion to the Black Nazarene, Vergara clarified.

“We came up with the word ‘trash-lacion’ to strongly remind the faithful that littering desecrates the environment and is totally unbefitting a religious tradition.  Polluting the environment with all sorts of litter and waste is akin to crucifying Mother Earth,” she said.

Citing  data from the Metro Manila Development Authority,  Vergara noted the growing volume of trash hauled after the Black Nazarene feast from 192 tons in 2013 to 336 tons in 2014.

“We hope that more devotees will be mindful of the environment this time and cooperate in making the ‘Traslacion’ garbage-free as the first ever Zero Waste Month in January is observed nationwide,” she added.
Vergara’s group last Monday gathered in front of the Quiapo Church holding photos of the Black Nazarene and Pope Francis and a green banner inspired by the “Mercy and Compassion” theme for the papal visit that says “Maawa at Mahabag: Kalingain ang Kalikasan, Basura ay Iwasan.”

On Friday, the group will give used rice sacks to street vendors around Quiapo Church to encourage them to properly manage their discards. 

The group will also dispatch “Basura Patrollers” to take photos of both good and bad practices in solid waste management during the day-long celebration.

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