EcoWaste Coalition Urges Filipinos: ‘Recyclepamore’ This Christmas to Cut on ‘Holitrash’

As Christmas is happily celebrated, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded the general public to “recyclepamore” to reduce the volume of holiday trash or “holitrash” from the festive occasion. 

Amid the climate and garbage woes facing the nation, it is incumbent on all Filipinos to keep reusable, recyclable and compostable discards out of bins and dumps consistent with R.A. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), the waste and pollution watch group emphasized.

“We request the faithful to place the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) at the heart of the joyful celebration.  Reducing the quantity of what we throw away does not require rocket science.  ‘Recyclepamore’ is as simple as ABC,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.    

“It all begins with consuming responsibly and keeping our discards well sorted to make their reusing, recycling or composting easy,” he said.

“Instead of ripping and throwing them to the bin, we can save those bags, wrappers and ribbons for the next gift-giving season, or reuse or repurpose them for household, office and school needs,” he suggested. 

“Every packaging item that is not disposed of and put to good use is good for the environment.  Of course, it is better not to wrap gifts at all to avoid the use and depletion of resources,” he pointed out. 

The EcoWaste Coalition cited several ways of preventing Christmas packaging from adding to the “holitrash.”

Paper or plastic gift bags can be reused as a carry bag, as a receptacle for office or school documents and materials, or as a container for holiday decorations.

Wrappers can be folded neatly and use as book or notebook cover or as a material for school art and craft projects, while ribbons can be made into an ornamental garland or stored for future uses. 

Gift boxes can be reused as an organizer for e-gadgets and accessories, photos, prayer articles, toys, trinkets, needles, threads, buttons and other sewing essentials, bills, letters, etc.

Hampers can be reused as a container for fruits, vegetables, and indoor plants.

Greeting cards can be cut into bookmarks or kept as art materials; gift tags can be used for labeling purposes; and money envelopes can be reused to keep name cards, ID photos and the like.

The EcoWaste Coalition added that discards from the holiday food preparations can be washed, dried and reused or repurposed in a variety of ways.

For example, tin cans, juice and milk packs, and plastic bottles can be used for container gardening, or reused as an organizer for accessories, jewelry, keys and office supplies, while empty bottle jars can be reused as a container for candies, jams and preservers made from overripe fruits. 

“Composting is an excellent way to recycle holiday food waste such as fruit peels, vegetable scraps, eggshells and other organics into nutrient rich fertilizer or soil amendment,” said Alejandre. 

“By not mixing discards and with a little creativity, we can surely cut down on the huge quantities of ‘holitrash’ sent to the dumps,” he added.

As per government estimates, the whole country produces over 40,000 tons of trash per day.  Metro Manila’s daily waste generation is approximately 9,213 tons.  

With increased consumption and disposal, waste production soars during the Christmas and New Year holidays.