Have a plastic-free, eco-friendly summer vacation – EcoWaste
MANILA, Philippines – Planning your summer activities? Try going plastic-free!
“Summer outings need not be synonymous with the bane of plastic, especially the single-use, that is polluting the oceans and harming marine life,” EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said, as the summer vacation season unfolds.
“Going out of the city for the much loved excursions and picnics and refreshing water fun in the beach or swimming pool should not add to the plastics in the oceans that are mistakenly eaten by fish and other aquatic animals,” she pointed out.
The pro-environment noted that the 40 kilos of assorted plastics inside the stomach of a beached whale found in the east coast of Davao City last March should serve as a wake-up call to further curb plastic pollution.
It added that over 100,000 marine mammals suffer every year because of plastics in the oceans.
“While we push corporations to design throw-away plastic out of the production system and replace it with eco-friendly and non-toxic alternatives, and while we urge governments to seek ways to curb single-use plastic, we, the people, should act to halt the further degradation of the oceans with plastic and chemical pollutants,” Lucero said.
Collective and individual actions to fight plastic pollution would help in curbing the amount of plastic waste dumped into the oceans, which is estimated at eight million tons a year, the group said.
The waste and pollution watch group encourages individuals to practice the following activities for a plastic-free, ocean-friendly summer:
- Plan in advance for a plastic-free excursions. This way, you avoid creating plastic trash.
- Make plastic-free purchases whenever possible and put items bought in reusable bags.
- When buying vegetables, fruits and other foodstuff, select those that are locally grown, unpackaged or with minimal packaging.
- Prepare and bring food in reusable containers that do not require cling film or plastic wrap.
- Wrap sandwiches in old but clean hankies or fabric scraps, which can double up as napkins, too.
- Make use of plates, cups and cutlery that can be washed and used again. One eco-friendly and healthy option is to eat on a banana leaf.
- In lieu of plastic sheets, paper napkins and wet wipes, go for washable fabric table cover and cloth napkins. Steer clear of wet wipes containing harmful ingredients that can elicit allergic contact dermatitis.
- Carry with you potable tap water in reusable bottles instead of buying plastic bottled water.
- Choose drinks that come in glass bottles rather than plastic bottles.
- Instead of disposable ones, bring your own glass, tumbler or mug for cold and hot drinks.
- Say no to plastic straws and stirrers. Remember the sea turtle with straw in its nostril found off the coast of Costa Rica?
- Do not buy personal care and cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads. Note that plastic microbeads in such products are already banned in US and other countries.
- Carry your excursion necessities in bayong, basket or reusable cloth bags and avoid plastic ones.
- Take time to do a clean-up before leaving the beach or resort, and bring your discards home for proper recycling or disposal. Remember: “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”
- Do not forget to bring extra reusable bags for pasalubong or souvenirs to buy. This way, you help cut plastic bag waste. / gsg
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