Philippines leads in international coastal cleanup activities

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines ranked first among 25 countries that participated in international coastal cleanup activities organized by the Ocean Conservancy organization.

The Philippines ranked first among 25 countries that participated in international coastal cleanup activities organized by the Ocean Conservancy organization.

Over 200,000 volunteers from the country joined the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), gathering more than 230,000 kilograms of garbage from beaches and waterways, according to the Ocean Conservancy 2018 report.

The report added that nearly 1 million food wrappers were found in Philippine shorelines last year. Food wrappers are now the most common coastal trash in the country today. Other items found include plastic grocery bags, straws, stirrers, and takeaway containers.

In 2017, environmental group Haribon Foundation collected at least 83 sacks of styrofoam, 85 sacks of rubber and clothe waste, and 57 sacks of plastic.

“Larger items tend to break into smaller pieces called microplastics until they become small enough for many wildlife to mistake them for food,” the foundation said.

Almost 5 million pieces of tiny trash were collected from the ocean worldwide in 2017. Cigarette butts remains as the top coastal trash worldwide, with 2.4 million pieces collected in 2017.

As September is the National Cleanup Month, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is  encouraging individuals to join this year’s ICC on September 22, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“Through our cleanup activities, we hope to bring people closer to the waste problem at hand so that we can stem it from the source,” the Haribon  Foundation said. 

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