January 25, 2020, Saturday – To continue the efforts of giving back to the community and to help create a long-term impact on our environment for future generations, the Dynamic Business Outsourcing Solutions (DBOS) once again collaborated with WWF-Philippines, but this time for the Manila Bay Coastal Clean-Up along with other individual volunteers.
Equipped with gloves, trash pickers, masks, and sacks, the DBOS team went on their way to join WWF-Philippines’ initiative in cleaning up the trash that has been washed along the coast of Manila Bay. Divided into 5 groups, a couple of hours was allocated for all teams to pick plastics, styrofoam, rubber, and glass, all on separate sacks.
After a few hours of digging and picking up trash along the southern coast of Manila Bay, the team collected hundreds of kilos of garbage, which is mostly composed of single-use plastic materials.
On the other hand, during the opening remarks, a WWF representative explained the importance of clean-up drives and asked a few people why they volunteered.
Later on, she boldly stated that the Philippines is declared as the third-largest contributor to plastic waste in the world and enumerated the top 5 plastic wastes that we contribute which include; plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic cups, and plastic cutleries – all are usually used in a common Filipino household and can easily be bought anywhere.
In a recent survey, 48 million shopping bags are used throughout the Philippines. In a year, it adds up to a staggering 17 billion and could still be increasing every single day. Just imagine how we are destroying our planet with all those plastic wastes.
What and why the LPPCHEA is important
The Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) is a nature reserve covering around 175 hectares of the wetland ecosystem situated on the south of Manila Bay. In 2015, it is declared to be the first critical habitat in the country.
According to DENR, the LPPCHEA is consist of two (2) islands – Freedom Island and Long Island – with mangroves, ponds, lagoons, and mudflats. At present, it also serves as home to 82 species of wild birds, 41 of which are migratory.
The LPPCHEA is the sixth Wetland of International Importance in the Philippines that plays a critical role in the survival of threatened, restricted-range and migratory bird species. It serves as an important resting and refuelling stop for these birds making their way to the warmer regions of the globe during the migration season.
Also, the mangroves forests maintained in the LPPCHEA serves as natural barriers that protect the communities of Las Piñas and Parañaque from storm surges and high tide.
People eat their own trash – but how?
Partially, we are all aware that global waste is a huge problem in today’s generation. But did you know that the world’s waste is set to swell to 3.4 billion tonnes in 2050? Along with those numbers, 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste is from the Philippines alone. Sadly, 20 per cent – or half a million tonnes of those trash leaks into the oceans.
Although we don’t directly feel its impact, the truth is, in one way or another, we’re eating our own trash.
Microplastics. These are the tiny pieces of plastic that particularly sits at the bottom of the sea, consumed by the marine population, or might’ve been blown by the wind. Although we can’t see it, it’s everywhere.
A new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology says that it’s possible that humans may be consuming anywhere from 39,000 to 52,000 microplastic particles a year.
When we buy a plastic product, it eventually becomes trash. Once it is thrown away, it will find its way to the sea. Now when in the ocean, plastic decomposes slowly, breaking down into tiny pieces called microplastics. These microplastics gets eaten by fishes and other marine species that we, humans later on consume.
What can we do to help reduce these plastic waste?
As individuals, we can always make a small step towards change. We could choose to buy recyclable products or drink from reusable water bottles. We can even buy refillable bottles for our hair products instead of one-time sachets. These changes in our lifestyle might look small, but collectively, it’ll be huge.
Joining clean-up drives and raising awareness, most especially to the uneducated population of the country could, later on, be another successful step towards change. And if we don’t act now, it might be too late for the next generation.
And so we here at DBOS, together with our CEO, Jacqui Miller, will actively take a stand to promote and raise awareness of the effects of using plastic products, starting inside our company. We will also continue to take part in meaningful drives such as this, and help secure a better place for future generations.
In the long run, we aim to be a fully eco-friendly company that actively promotes a NO TO SINGLE-USE PLASTIC campaign!
We are all and have been a part of the problem. So we all must fight to bring back the environment that we once had.
A challenge to all BPOs!
We are also encouraging all other BPO companies to take a stand against this escalating issue facing our planet. Start by banning the use of single-use plastics in our offices and later on our households. Educate your staff about the negative effects of using plastic products. Because if we don’t come together, what chance do future generations have?
If you want to be a part of meaningful efforts in saving our environment such as clean-up drives and more, visit WWF-Philippines on their website and other social media accounts.
There’s not much time left, let’s all act now.