EcoWaste Coalition to Enterprising Pinoys: No Leaflets Please at Papal Mass

An environmental group has made another appeal in an attempt to reduce litter during the Concluding Mass to be  officiated by Pope Francis this Sunday at Rizal Park: no leafleteering please.

“We urge real estate agents, insurance agents, memorial park agents, direct selling agents and other enterprising individuals to refrain from using the occasion to distribute brochures, flyers or handouts, which may only end up as litter,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“It’s always tempting to distribute commercial leaflets in such a large event to promote and sell a product.  It may be good for business, but leafleteering could spell trouble for the environment,” she said.

“Sadly, these leaflets, more often than not, are not really read and kept, but used for something else and simply left behind with no regard for the environment,” she noted.

“If it rains on Sunday, waste and sanitation workers and volunteers would find it more difficult to remove littered paper on wet and muddy ground,” she said.

The group noted that leaflets are among the typical litter found in large events in Luneta and elsewhere.

“We can keep the paper waste low by simply not distributing leaflets other than those related to the Eucharistic feast such as the Missalette,” Lucero pointed out.

“Please keep the Missalette in your bag or pocket after the Mass and don’t throw it away.  It’s like a piece of gem that the faithful should keep as a reminder of our prized encounter with the people’s pope,” she emphasized. 

Aside from the litter problem, preventing paper waste is also a crucial action to take in order to conserve trees, save the forests and protect the climate, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

The group reminded the public that the month of January has been designated as “Zero Waste Month” by President Benigno Aquino III, making it all the more meaningful to ensure that the papal visit is “basura-free.”

The EcoWaste Coalition had earlier offered the following tips to prevent the creation of waste during the papal visit:

1.  Eat first at home to avoid eating out at the venue.

2.  If essential, pack a simple waste-free meal in a reusable container.

3.  Bring your own water in a reusable jug to avoid buying bottled water or beverage on site.

4.  Carry a litter bag in your pocket, which should come in handy if there is no bin nearby.

5.  Bring a foldable reusable bag for things that you may want to bring home from the event.

6.  Decline brochures, flyers and handouts that you will not read and keep. 

7.  Do not light up a cigarette and smoke, particularly in Rizal Park and other no smoking venues.

8.  Never litter, not even a single candy wrapper.

9.  Clean as you go; pick up the trash around you before going away.

10.  Support waste reduction efforts in the venue and persuade others to do the same.