Market shopping Moalboal

All the Plastic We Cannot See

I’ve been beach cleaning and visiting schools for 2 weeks now in the Philippines as part of a 2000km cycle to raise awareness about the issues of plastic pollution. But there are a few issues with dealing with the problem of plastic pollution via beach clean ups. I love beach clean ups, and I will continue them. I want to be out there, doing my thing, catching the eyes of anyone around. But there’s two problems….

  1. There is so much plastic that we can’t see. Fibres of polyester clothes end up in the ocean. Plastic bags photo-degrade into smaller and smaller pieces that are impossible to pick up. Then they get eaten by plankton and work their way up the food chain. Like the one in the picture below. I tried to pick this up and it flaked in my hands and was swept up in the sand. It’s made from oil. Toxic. Yuk. Visable plastic is only a small part of the problem.
    Tiny plastic pieces everywhere!
    Tiny plastic pieces everywhere!

     

  2. Sometimes the message becomes about cleaning up rubbish, instead of using less. And I really really want to promote using less. Ecobags in markets. Reusable everything. Saying no to single use plastic, straws, cups, anything that you use once and then throw away. Because it takes a lot of resources to make which isn’t good for broader environmental goals and sustainability. And it’s near on impossible to dispose of in an appropriate manner. We’ve all got to play our part. Buy the right stuff.

    Philippines markets have amazing healthy food all packaged naturally, just need to BYO Bag. Thanks to the Green Collective for their amazing Goodie Bags!
    Philippines markets have amazing healthy food for the most part packaged naturally, mangoes, bananas, rambutan, watermelon, just need to BYO Bag. Thanks to the Green Collective for their amazing Goodie Bags!

I hope by visiting schools I can share this message, but then again there’s a big jump from knowing something is bad to changing our behaviours. I can see this in my own life and my own journey to quit plastic. Creating new habits takes time. And that’s why we need to start now.

If you want to follow more from my journey please visit the Plastic Free Philippines Facebook Page.

2 thoughts on “All the Plastic We Cannot See

  1. Hi!
    Thank you for your concern. Plastic is being widely used in the Philippines and is polluting our waters at an alarming rate.
    Yes, it is a smart move to visit schools and educate the next generation of the bad effects of plastic and help them make more critical choices in the future.
    A small number of cities/towns have already banned the use of plastic mostly in the urban centers but in the provinces, plastic is still widely used.
    I wish you more power to your advocacy. I also share the same ideals when it comes to plastic but I hate to admit that we still use it in our daily existence.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes it is used here in the Philippines, but also worldwide, its very much a global problem. I think big change can happen if Philippines makes some positive steps towards reducing plastic consumption,given the number of people living along the coast. It is a very convenient resource that is why it is so prolific, but it’s also very easy to find alternatives, actually traditional culture in the Philippines with woven carriers is much better. Also eating healthier foods like bananas instead of snack packets. Every little bit helps thats what we advocate. And just so everyone knows I don’t live completely plastic free yet, its a work in progress, i’m still replacing things like my toothpaste which is in plastic, and my son is wearing nappies while we’re on the road, before he used cloth nappies but it’s too hard while we’re traveling. So I don’t fault anyone who uses plastic, only want to encourage people to try try try to reduce reduce reduce!!

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