Climate and Environment

Filipinos urged to end ‘toxic’ relationship with plastic on Valentine’s Day

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Filipinos urged to end �toxic� relationship with plastic on Valentine�s Day
Handout photo from EcoWaste Coalition shows plastic flowers and gifts this Valentine's Day.
EcoWaste Coalition

MANILA, Philippines — As Filipinos celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved ones, an environmental group offers a unique suggestion: break up with single-use plastics. 

EcoWaste Coalition on Wednesday urged the public to ditch their “toxic” relationship with throw-away plastics that threaten both human health and the planet. 

“We can live without single-use plastics but we cannot live in an environment where a big portion of our waterways are polluted with disposable plastics, along with their chemical additives,” EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero said. 

“For the love of Mother Earth, we need to end this toxic relationship before our oceans and rivers completely turn into a floating dumping ground,” she added. 

The group noted that despite the passage of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act in 2001, solid waste generation in the Philippines surged from 9.07 million tons in 2000 to 16.63 million in 2020.

In a 2021 report, the World Bank said that the Philippines’ heavy reliance on single-use plastics, driven by their affordability and convenience, has exacerbated the already alarming levels of marine plastic pollution in the region.

This Valentine’s Day, EcoWaste Coalition urges Filipinos to start a “loving and enduring” relationship with alternatives to single use plastics such as the following:

  • Bayong, fabric bags and other reusable bags instead of plastic bags
  • Tiffin carriers, stainless steel lunch boxes and repurposed bottle jars instead of polystyrene food containers
  • Water canteen, jug or flask with no lead coatings instead of plastic water bottles
  • Washable glasses, tumblers, mason jars instead of plastic cups
  • Glass, porcelain and other lead-free dishware instead of disposable plates
  • Reusable cutleries and bamboo or metal straw, or go straw-free and drink straight from the glass or bottle

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