LOOK: Crowds leave pilgrimage sites full of trash

The Ecowaste Coalition, a network of organizations geared towards protecting the environment, took to social media to ‘lament’ the mass littering which took place at various holy sites last Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. According to reports filed by the Basura Patrollers, the littering was particularly bad at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto Shrine in San Jose del Monte City, the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Marilao, and the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral in Antipolo City.

(60 billion sachets and 17.5 billion plastic bags are thrown each year in the Philippines)

Photo courtesy of Ecowaste Coalition

In their statement, the Ecowaste Coalition “lamented that littering has become a “tradition” tarnishing the annual journey of the faithful to favorite pilgrimage destinations in the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal.” They report that the trash mostly consisted of paper and plastic materials such as plastic bottles, food packaging, improvised sleeping materials like tarpaulins, and more.

Photo courtesy of Ecowaste Coalition

(This is why using metal straws isn’t going to save the environment)

Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, had this to say on the matter:

We regret that our appeal for a garbage-free Holy Week remain unheeded as many devotees, without any sense of guilt or shame, left their discards anywhere.

It’s apparent that many devotees have yet to appreciate the connection between the expression of our faith and our responsibility to take good care of our shared environment. Environmental apathy, sad to say, is still very prevalent.

[…] In fact, faith-inspired efforts should set a higher benchmark with respect to the responsible use and protection of the earth’s resources.

Let us be reminded by what our bishops have said: ‘We are not owners of the earth. We are its stewards, to keep and cherish and nurture its resources not only for ourselves but for future generations’.

Photo courtesy of Ecowaste Coalition

(Related: Being Religious Doesn’t Make You A Better Person)

They hope that with Earth Day coming up this April 22 people become more conscientious of their impact on the earth. They remind us that properly throwing trash or opting for reusable containers aren’t burdens that are too big for anyone to make.

What do you think about this? 


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