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  • Three Million Diapers Discarded Daily Add to Philippines' Garbage Problem, Study Finds

    There is work to do, and solving the plastic waste problem begins at your own home.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Three Million Diapers Discarded Daily Add to Philippines' Garbage Problem, Study Finds
PHOTO BY @cegli/iStock
  • The four-day holiday in commemoration of Holy Week was a chance for many of us to rest and recharge. As it was also a time for reflection and to reconnect with our spirituality, it is hoped that it has created something lasting within us.

    Reading the news this morning will confirm that we have indeed created something lasting — just take a look at the streets around you and you'll see for sure heaping mounds of trash carelessly strewn on the sidewalk. As the group EcoWaste Coalition puts it, devotees have continued their "tradition" of littering the streets and pilgrimage sites as they visited Churches on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday for the Visita Iglesia.

    Last week, a German expat living in Manila posted a video that went viral for the right reasons. Frank Schuengel relayed on his Facebook page that as he was traversing the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge on a bicycle on his way to work, a passenger of a van threw a plastic full of garbage out the window onto the street. 

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    "I picked it up, went alongside the van with my bicycle, and handed the garbage back to him with a firm request to place it in a proper bin instead," the e-commerce executive wrote.

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    Schuengel cites the report by the Mother Earth Foundation to lay down the statistics behind Manila's garbage problem. Using the waste assessment and brand audit tool, the report states that:

    1. The average Filipino uses 591 pieces of sachets, 174 shopping bags, and 163 plastic labo bags, yearly.

    2. Everyday, almost 48 million shopping bags are used throughout the Philippines, or roughly 17.5 billion pieces a year.

    3. Throughout the Philippines, plastic labo bag use is at 45.2 million pieces per day, or 16.5 billion pieces a year.

    4. Around three million diapers are discarded in the Philippines daily, or 1.1 billion diapers annually.

    Just think about it: every year, Filipinos generate approximately 2.7 million tons of plastic waste alone (on top of other waste materials). 20% of this plastic waste ends up in the ocean, and takes 1,000 years to decompose.

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    Has it sunk in yet how huge the waste problem is? Yes, mom, dad. There is work to do — and it begins with you. The solution needs to be taught to your children, your siblings, your parents, your household helpers. Solving the plastic waste problem begins at your own home.

    "As flattering as everyone’s reaction is, the pollution problem in this country won’t be solved by one bloke on a bike. It will take all of us to make a difference," Schuengel added.

    You can save the earth

    As more and more people are becoming aware, movements big and small have been happening in April, which is Earth Month, organized by advocates, non-government organizations, and government agencies. If you wish to be part of this movement along with your families, here are some activities you could take part in:

    PHOTO BY Earth Day network Philippines / Facebook
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    Battle for Manila Bay 

    April 24, 2019, 7 am to 12 noon

    Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

    Elliptical Road, QC

    Earth Day Bike Parade & Cleanup

    April 28, 2019, 6:00 AM

    Plaza Magsaysay, Obando, Bulacan

    Registration is free

     

    Earth Day Bike Ride

    April 27, 2019, from 5:00-6:00 AM

    Bonifacio Shrine (beside Manila City Hall)

    For more information, call 09482046129. There is no registration fee.

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    Earth Day Jam 2019

    April 26, 2019, 6:00 PM 

    Tomas Morato

    Concert, recyclables trade fair, and interactive talks are just some of the event highlights

     

    Love Boracay: Celebrate, Rehabilitate

    April 26 to May 1

    A celebration of rehabilitation efforts of the new Boracay on the occasion of the first anniversary of its 6-month closure in 2018 for the cleanup. Activities include a retro music night, parasailing, and a forum to enjoin everyone to practice responsible and sustainable tourism. 

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    Love our planet

    At home, you can begin teaching your younger kids to be eco-conscious. Earlier this month, Netflix premiered Our Planet, which features never-before-seen footage of wildlife and their habitats — while also revealing why the natural world matters to us all and what steps must be taken to preserve it. It is an ambitious documentary that has been filmed in four years in 50 countries across all the continents of the world.  

    Unprecedented in scope and ambition, Our Planet will entertain and captivate a global audience of all ages. More importantly, the series will help start an important conversation about the home we all share at a crucial moment when the world needs to act.

    Viewers will marvel at the diverse landscapes and precious and rare wildlife, but they’ll also discover what steps need to be taken to protect the natural world. “All across our planet, crucial connections are being disrupted,” English historian and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough notes. “What we do in the next 20 years will determine the future for all life on Earth.”

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