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Group calls for plastic-free, climate-friendly Holy Week

MANILA, Philippines — An environmental group on Sunday called on the Catholic faithful to observe a Holy Week free from single-use plastics.

“As we are invited to meditate on Jesus’ journey to the Cross and beyond, this is also an opportune time for devout Catholics to reflect on  how plastic pollution caused mainly by single-use plastics (SUPs) is affecting the People and the Planet,” said Ochie Tolentino, zero waste campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition. 

“We appeal to the faithful to steer away from the insidious throw-away culture that is turning our lands and oceans into dumping grounds and observe climate-friendly and SUP-free practices for the sake of our environment,” she added. 

EcoWaste Coalition expressed concern about the potential increase in plastic waste generated by religious activities during Holy Week, including visits to churches, pilgrimages, and the traditional “pabasa.”

In previous years, the coalition documented widespread littering at churches and pilgrimage sites. The most common discards were disposable plastic items, cigarette butts and food containers. 

“We hope that unlike the previous Holy Weeks, the pilgrims will take ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ to heart, lessen their usage of SUPs and never drop any litter during their observance of the Holy Week,” Tolentino said. 

EcoWaste Coalition encouraged the faithful to practice a plastic-free Holy Week by doing the following: