Students from VSU

Punong Beach Clean Up With VSU

Length of beach covered ~ 600m

Location – Just south of Baybay Leyte. We wanted to clean near the uni however it was already really nice there and one of the cleanest beaches I have seen on my travels!

Sacks collected – 9 hog feed sacks, equivalent to 18 rice sacks.

Volunteers – 70 volunteers from various organisations. Cheers to the lovely groups from Visayas State University for providing the manpower for this clean up.

 

Students from VSU
Students from VSU

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Stats from the clean up, percentages and inferred estimates of the number of pieces collected.

23% Food wrappers (~1350 pieces)

21% Plastic pieces (~1220 pieces)

12.6% Other plastic bags like ice candy wrappers (~720 pieces)

5% Plastic bottle lids (~315 pieces)

4.7% Foam pieces (~270 pieces)

4.7% Straws (~270 pieces)

4.2% Diapers (~240 pieces)

3.1% Grocery Bags (~720 pieces).

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This was a great clean up effort and I felt my briefing was able to convey the importance of reducing plastic at the source. When I interviewed with ABS CBN in Dumaguete I noticed that the overall message was lost in the clean up. The issue became solely about the need to clean beaches, when in fact we wouldn’t have as much of a problem if only we could reduce plastic at the source. This is a slow process but in order to solve broader environmental goals all citizens must be engaged. This is particularly clear from the findings of this beach clean up. Only 3% of the plastic bags found on the beach were grocery bags, so while banning bags is a good option, we also need to work on changing diets to reduce food wrappers as well as changing behaviour to reduce small plastic bags being used for things like ice candy, ice, drinks, water, and so on.

In short, this message can’t just be about reducing waste on the beaches, but about reducing waste fullstop. That’s why I’m trying to speak up more about reducing, reducing, reducing, waste at the source, cutting back on plastics, using ecobags, saying no to straws because this project is about way more than just cleaning our beaches.

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