May 09, 2019 Thursday
MANILA, PHILIPPINES 09 May 2019—In observance of the Month of the Ocean, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called for united action to halt the worsening state of our marine ecosystems by minimizing plastic pollution.
The Philippines is known for its rich marine ecosystems but is also one of the major sources of plastic trash in the world, contributing almost three million metric tons of plastic wastes and 500,000 metric tons of plastic waste leakage per year.
In a report released by the Ocean Conservancy, the Philippines was among the top plastic-waste producers in the world alongside neighboring Asian countries, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
“Heathy oceans are critical to the global fight against climate change inasmuch as climate action is needed to protect our oceans. It is in this spirit that the CCC echoes the call to protect our oceans by eliminating plastic waste and plastic pollution,” CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said.
A study conducted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, predicts that there could be more plastics than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050. According to the report, the worldwide use of plastic has increased 20 fold in the past 50 years and it is expected to double again in the next 20 years.
“As the fight for climate action and ocean protection becomes one and the same, it is high time for concerned sectors to demonstrate real leadership in reversing the plastic crisis,” De Guzman said.
De Guzman urged the private sector and concerned government agencies to step up with innovative, game-changing, and sustainable measures that would eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging and substantially reduce plastic waste leakage into our oceans.
“There is no silver bullet to protect our oceans and our climate against plastic pollution. We need all sectors to work together to come up with concrete and systematic solutions at the soonest possible time,” he added.
De Guzman also urged the public to veer away from the throwaway culture by reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics. “Let us start making choices today that save our oceans and our climate from plastic wastes,” he said.
The Month of the Ocean is celebrated annually in the Philippines during the month of May by virtue of the Presidential Proclamation No. 57 issued in 1999.