Tondo feast abounds with plastic scraps ­—watchdog

Environment watchdog EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday said it was an “overkill”  to use single-use plastic banderitas to adorn streets of Manila for this year’s Santo Niño de Tondo Feast.

VIVA SANTO NIÑO. Devotees hold aloft images of Santo Niño during a parade celebrating their patron saint in Tondo, Manila on Saturday, Jan. 18. Norman Cruz
“We are deeply saddened by the lavish use of plastic banderitas in connection with the feast of Santo Niño as if there was no tomorrow. It’s an overkill of wasteful [single-use plastics],” EcoWaste Coalition zero-waste campaigner Jove Benosa said in a statement.

“Rarely reused  or recycled, these banderitas consisting of semi-transparent plastic bags, plastic strips or plastic packaging scraps add to the residual plastic garbage that ends up in dumps or on the streets and waterways,” Benosa said.

According to Benosa, the banderitas can be found in the Manila districts of Tondo and Pandacan, which celebrate every third Sunday of January  the popular feast of Santo Niño.

This year’s feast of the Santo Niño de Tondo will run from Jan. 18 to 19.

Benosa  said that the single-use banderitas pose a threat to the environment.

The use of such decors, the group added, was “not in tune” with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso’s initiative of ridding trash in the city.

“As plastic banderitas, which are made from chemicals obtained from fossil fuels, serve no functional purpose and are not really essential for the good conduct of any festivity, we appeal to all barangay and parish officials to stop this classic example of preventable wastefulness,”  EcoWaste Coalition said. 

Topics: EcoWaste Coalitio , Banderitas , Santo Niño de Tondo Feast , Jove Benosa
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