Five Metro Manila cities—Makati, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Quezon City, and Valenzuela—generate 861,967 tons of waste per year, according to a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank in 2003.
During a gathering of conservation advocates and students in Quezon City entitled “Trash Talk”, Czarina Constantino of the Haribon Foundation shared with students and environment workers data and narrative accounts of waste management issues and global waste concerns.
Constantino lamented that an area of plastic waste four times the size of the Philippines exists in the Pacific Ocean today, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Over half of all plastic entering the ocean comes from just five countries, and according to a report entitled “Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean” by the Ocean Conservancy, the Philippines is one of them.
“Can you imagine something this big? It is at least three storeys deep in our oceans and full of micro plastics,” Constantino said.
“Not only does our trash go to the ocean and into other animals, but eventually it goes back to us,” she said.
Constantino said Filipinos should not only reuse, reduce, and recycle, the should also think about the consequences of buying, using, or discarding particular plastic items.
“Be part of the solution and not the pollution,” she said.