Keep environment clean during feast of Santo Niño – group

Keep environment clean, protected during feast of Santo Niño – group

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 01:43 PM January 13, 2024

A group reminds the public to maintain cleanliness and protection of the environment during celebrations for the Feast of Santo Niño.

FILE PHOTO: Miniature Santo Niños are sold in Manila. INQUIRER / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday reminded the public to maintain cleanliness and protection of the environment during celebrations for the Feast of Santo Niño.

The group specifically encouraged participants to refrain from using single-use plastics and tarpaulin as decorations as these materials are deemed harmful to health and the environment.


“As our country grapples with the effects of the plastic pollution crisis, we find it necessary to put a stop on the reckless consumption of single-use plastics such as those used in community fiestas,” the group’s Zero Waste Campaigner, Ochie Tolentino, said in a statement.


According to Tolentino, tarpaulin decorations, when not reused or recycled, only contribute to the volume of mixed garbage collected after festivities.

READ: Santo Niño devotees in Cebu gather as feast of faith begins

“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.

EcoWaste also warned that some plastic products – usually used in making tarp banners and posters, banderitas (small flags) lanterns, and other synthetic ornaments – contain the toxic chemical cadmium.

READ: Santo Niño de Cebu image visits hospitals, jails

It added that cadmium is likewise found in tarpaulins that are made of polyvinyl chloride plastic at levels that exceed the European Union’s limit as detected in laboratory tests commissioned by EcoWaste.


According to the Department of Health’s website, cadmium is one of the “well-known cancer-causing agents.”

In Pandacan and Tondo in Manila, EcoWaste said some streets were already adorned with banderitas (small flags) made from plastic “labo” (think plastic packaging) and other disposable plastics ahead of the Feast of Santo Niño. The group lamented this situation.

READ: ‘Traslacion’ leaves 468 metric tons of garbage

EcoWaste then pointed to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) “urgent call for ecological conversion” released via a pastoral letter in 2019.

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The CBCP letter stated that reducing the use of plastic and paper, as well as eliminating single-use plastics, polystyrene, and other similar products, are just some of the “concrete ecological actions” that can be taken to save the environment.

TAGS: EcoWaste, environment, Festival, Religion, Santo Niño

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