LOOK: Samar town rids coastal waters of plastic waste
SAMAR, Philippines – The local government and residents of Pinabacdao town have banded together to rid their coastal waters of plastic trash.
Every month, residents collect plastic waste along the coast to keep the garbage from getting to the sea. Some 24 communities in the town are also educated on the environmental hazards of plastic use.
Pinabacdao Mayor Teodorico Mabag told Rappler in an interview that they are planning to conduct coastal cleanups in a different location each month to ensure the cleanliness of their coastal waters.
"I saw more plastic bags and most people have this image of an island of trash that you can almost walk on, and this makes our ocean a huge garbage patch. These make a cleanup incredibly challenging," Mabag said.
"The waste we throw on the road could all end up in the sea and the amount of plastic and trash on the beaches is getting worse. This makes garbage and plastic pollution become a global epidemic and we are working hard here in our town to combat it," he added.
Mabag said some community efforts to reduce plastic waste include the following:
- Not using single-use plastic products
- Refusing a plastic straw when buying a drink
- Bringing a reusable bag to stores
"It’s a long-term effort to get rid of the single-use throw-away culture,’ Mabag said.
He believes policies are needed to help people change their consumer habits.
"Legislation would help place responsibility on people, but ultimately change can start with an individual’s habits and consciousness of what they’re buying," Mabag added.
Pinabacdao residents recently participated in Ocean Cleanup Day.
Local officials, residents, civic groups, personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, soldiers, and police gathered together to fill trash bags with garbage. – Rappler.com