Volunteers needed to clean up Philippine coastlineBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino eco-warriors are invited to take part in the International Coastal Cleanup in the Philippines on Oct. 6, according to the international environment organization Ocean Conservancy.
“We need more volunteers than ever,” David Pittenger, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash-Free Seas program, said in a statement coursed through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Nearly 600,000 people around the world picked up more than 4 million kilograms of trash along more than 30,000 kilometers of coastlines in 2011, according to the US-based Ocean Conservancy.
The volunteers also found “enough clothing (266,997 items) to outfit every audience member of the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony,” and “enough light bulbs (24,384) to replace every light on the Eiffel Tower.”
In the statement, the group, along with ICC Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), announced that the 27th annual International Coastal Cleanup will be held on Oct. 6, instead of Sept. 15, as previously scheduled.
Ocean Conservancy and ICC Philippines signed on Aug. 16 a memorandum of agreement with the PCGA as co-coordinator and organization responsible for the management of the International Coastal Cleanup in the Philippines.
The national coordinators urged volunteers around the world to pledge to “Take on the Trash”— this year’s theme.
“Those who pledge will help build the collective movement for Trash-Free Seas – both by reducing their own trash impact and helping clean up what’s already out there,” the group said.
“Trash jeopardizes the health of our oceans, our economy and people. That’s why it’s important to tackle what’s preventable,” Pittenger said.
The cleanup is part of a growing movement to tackle ocean trash at every point in the life cycle, he said.
Over the past 26 years of cleanups, according to Ocean Conservancy, the volunteers found:
• 55 million cigarettes butts, which if stacked vertically, would be as tall as 3,613 Empire State Buildings;
• Enough glass and plastic bottles to provide every resident of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia a cold beverage on a hot summer day;
• Enough appliances (125,156) to fill 37,434 single-axle dump trucks;
• More than 870,000 (870,935) diapers – enough to put one on every child born in the United Kingdom last year;
• Enough cups, plates, forks, knives and spoons to host a picnic for 2.15 million people.
The group also identified six ways to “take on the trash”:
1. Join the International Coastal Cleanup: Check out signuptocleanup.org to find cleanup opportunities;
2. Sign the pledge and invite your friends, and build the movement to reduce the impact of trash on our ocean;
3. Clean up your neighborhood;
4. Check out Ocean Conservancy’s new mobile app, Rippl: Sign up to be among the first to know when it’s released. Rippl helps you make sustainable lifestyle choices by delivering weekly green living tips and helping to build new habits that lead to a lower trash impact;
5. Support trash-free seas, and donate to help;
6. Check out Ocean Conservancy’s running list of features, blog posts and more.