New Years Plastic Free Resolutions

3 months of picking up trash in the Philippines and five steps for us all reduce plastic in 2017.

  • Eat better. Yes. This is not about some crazy diet. It is about creating a better environment for our children. If we snack on fruit, nuts, and all that good stuff that comes packaged naturally and easily compostable we will avoid a whole lot of plastic. The number 1 item I picked up across 30 beach clean ups were packets of snacks. SNACK BETTER. It’s better for your health, better for the environment.


Market shopping Moalboal
Market shopping Moalboal
  • Say no to straws. We picked up 500 sacks of plastic in 3 months and the second most popular item was drinking straws. They are prolific in the Philippines and most of the time completely unnecessary. We don’t use them for beer so why do we need them for soft drinks? I will be working on a petition to create a charge on plastic bags and plastic drinking straws in 2017. This money could be used to keep plastic out of the ocean. If you are with me on this one please SIGN UP HERE for more updates.

I also picked up 400 straws in half an hour on a beach just south of Manila


  • Go foam free. In Manila Bay we picked up around 2500 foam cups and many tiny fragments of foam, this is one of the worst things for the ocean. Styrofoam is toxic and hazardous. When it breaks down in the water it attracts more toxins and is being eaten by fish. We eat fish. Don’t use foam as you are only harming yourself. Take a mug. Borrow a mug.



  • Stop buying shoes – By volume shoes contributed to a huge amount of the plastic waste I picked up over the three months. It seems we don’t value our shoes enough. This is a global problem. So hopefully in having less shoes we will value our shoes more.



  • Say no to all plastic bags. I don’t mean just the big grocery ones, I also mean the ones that have ice in them, the ones that have water in them, the ones you carry drinks in with a straw so you can sip on the run, the tiny ones that contain sauce, encourage your local sari store to operate differently, eat in don’t take out, do anything to refuse those tiny, small, medium-sized, large plastic bags in all shapes and colours. They are everywhere and they are dangerous. I’m not kidding.
A turtle found dead with plastic bags in its stomach (Davao Gulf)

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