Science classes taught us that water covers more than 70% of our planet – making it one of the earth's most essential resources. It does not only provide a means of living to people but also serves as home to millions of inhabitants of the planet. In line with the celebration of World Environment Day the June 2018 issue of National Geographic “Planet or Plastic?” undeniably raised awareness on the worsening degradation of our environment.
Some corporations have taken the initiative to partake in the battle against single-use plastic – posing a challenge to other giant corporations who are among top producers of waste. However, the problem with marine pollution continues to rapidly worsen despite the known facts on the importance of water.
The majority of waste that pollutes the ocean is plastic – eight million tons of plastic each year with the Philippines ranking “third-worst polluter into the world’s ocean.”
The Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), one of the underrated nature reserves in Metro Manila, is in danger of thriving. LPPCHEA is situated south of Manila Bay consisting of Freedom Island and Long Island. Although a significant decrease in the volume of trash is evident around the 175-hectare zone, recent storms have washed ashore wastes from neighboring cities along the coast of Parañaque.
Volunteers from Coca-Cola Philippines, along with GenFest 2018 participants and bloggers, actively participated in the recent coastal cleanup last July. Coca Cola's The Agos Project is a proof of the company’s commitment to water stewardship. This project promotes awareness and imparts a sense of individual responsibility to each of their employees.
Volunteers from different companies and schools regularly participate in cleaning up the coast. With that, the condition of LPPCHEA has improved as compared to its first few years.
The viral image of a stork trapped in a plastic bag in Spain posed questions on the security of life on earth. Movements banning single-use plastic like straws have been making waves recently, but desiring to create environmental change does not stop there. Incorporating little steps to one's daily habit like segregation of waste, elimination of plastic use, and reduction of energy consumption may help in saving the environment, especially our oceans. There are other easy ways to get more involved: signing up for volunteer programs that raise awareness and call others to action like coastal cleanups at the LPPCHEA.
Lives may be saved when these seemingly little steps turn to collective actions.