Minimize your holiday trash, eco group reminds Filipinos

Mara Cepeda
Minimize your holiday trash, eco group reminds Filipinos
The zero waste advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition urges Filipinos to be more eco-friendly revelers as the Christmas and New Year celebrations approach

MANILA, Philippines – The zero waste advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition urged Filipinos to cut back on their garbage as the Christmas and New Year seasons approach. 

The upcoming festivities is expected to generate extra tons of waste, said EcoWaste Coalition’s zero waste campaigner Ochie Tolentino.

“If we don’t exert any effort to responsibly consume and willfully segregate, reuse, recycle or compost our discards, our throw-outs would surely end up in street corners, empty lots, dumpsites, landfills, incinerators or even in the rivers, seas and oceans,” the group said in a statement Sunday, December 18, adding that the country generates over 40,000 tones of garbage daily.  

The coalition suggested that Filipinos become more eco-friendly shoppers by doing using reusable bags and containers, buying local products, and purchasing products with the least amount of packaging. 

Christmas boxes, wrappers, and gift accessories may be recycled for next year’s gift-giving activities, sent to recycling facilities, or they me be repurposed as materials for arts and craft.

The EcoWaste Coalition also advised the public to prepare only the enough amount of holiday meals. Any excess, the group suggested, should be “properly stored and recycled, or shared with others, particularly with indigent families and the homeless. 

“To reduce the environmental impacts of our revelries, we urge all waste generators from households to shopping malls to make it a point to lessen the ‘holitrash’ to the least possible,” said Tolentino. 

She also appealed for people to avoid using firecrackers and fireworks to welcome the New Year to prevent the emission of toxic gases into the air and firecracker-related injuries and fires. (READ: My New Year’s resolution: Less garbage in the PH)

“Reducing the ‘holitrash’ is certainly a doable gift that all of us can offer to Mother Earth this festive season of giving and sharing,” said Tolentino.

Last year, the EcoWaste coalition called as “totally unacceptable” the amount of garbage left on the streets of Metro Manila after Filipinos welcomed 2016. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.