Philippines - Parish of St Ildefonso of Makati fights use of plastic

01 September 2021

(ANS - Makati) - The Rector of the Parish of St Ildefonso of Makati, Fr Antonio "Beng-Beng" Molavin, SDB, shares his personal experience of working with the NGO "Plastic Bank", describing how the parish community is at the forefront of ecological sustainability.

Fr Molavin and the parish community in reference to the Encyclical of Pope Francis Laudato Sì which focuses on the need to take care of Mother Earth have taken up the care of Creation as a priority among the three priorities of the parish, along with holiness and evangelization. In fact, in recent months, a gardening project has been started, trees have been planted and segregation of waste has been undertaken. However, it proved to be difficult to get everyone's cooperation and so something simpler was thought of.

This year, the Parish of St Ildefonso was chosen by the Ecological Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila to be the first parish in the Philippines to collaborate with the NGO "Plastic Bank". It is an international organization - approved by both the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Manila - which aims to recycle all types of plastic. Rather than eliminating plastic, the NGO aims to teach how to manage it. “If we take the problem of plastic pollution seriously and try to offer an effective solution, we would have solved a great ecological problem,” Fr Molavin explains.

Despite the pandemic, the Parish has managed to involve many people. “We brought the project first of all to the Basic Christian Communities, which have adopted the recovery of plastic as their main project in this period of pandemic,” continues Fr Molavin. “After spreading the concept, we started going house to house and instructed families to wash the plastic with soap so that they can be reused. Then we go around picking up the plastic, making sure it's clean and dry,” he adds.

These steps are labelled "Ecological Conversion" and those participating in this project are asked to always reuse plastic, even when going out to eat. The young people of the Oratory are also showing enthusiasm, always reusing the plastic articles, rather than throwing it into the trash. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, from the wealthiest to the poorest is taking the program seriously as proper handling of plastic takes care of Mother Earth.

The objective of the Parish for the next 5 years is to create a network of 500 families, who will work together to find a solution to the plastic problem. It is also hoped that St Ildefonso will become an accredited "Laudato Si' Parish" within 5 years.


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