Solenn Heussaff, Matteo Guidicelli and Anne Curtis-Smith are among the stars who advocate against the use of plastic
Screenshots from Instagram/Solenn Heussaff, Matteo Guidicelli and Anne Curtis-Smith
War on plastic: Stars speak out against plastic pollution
Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - July 18, 2018 - 4:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — Reports from Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment revealed that the Philippines has now become the world’s third largest source of plastic leaking into the ocean.

Upon knowing this problem, celebrity couples Solenn Heussaff and Nico Bolzico as well as Anne Curtis and Erwan Heussaff make a stand to educate their followers about plastic pollution.

Recently, brother-in-laws Erwan and Nico ran 10 kilometers from McKinley to Antipolo, picking plastic garbage. They do the Swedish fitness trend “plogging,” which involves picking up litter while running.

“The responsibility of saving our oceans is on us. Not tomorrow, but today. Nico and I recently went running and picked up some plastic along the way. It's absolutely everywhere, in our earth, rivers and seas. Plastic is not the devil, the problem is how we use it and how we dispose of it. Consume consciously, don't litter, educate people and try to lower your impact on our planet,” Erwan posted on Instagram with the photo of him and Nico and their collected plastic.

Erwan encouraged his followers to do the same, saying: “We know that we didn't really make a difference on the day we did this, but what we want to do is to motivate 100 people to take action, who can influence a 1000, who can influence millions, who can create a real and lasting change.”

Anne supported her husband’s advocacy by retweeting his Tweet to her millions of followers.

“Every little bit counts when it comes to helping our oceans and our planet. What will you do today to lessen trash and plastic in our waters?” Anne posted.

Known as a “plastic hater,” Solenn always has a say for the environment.

“Guys,I’m seeing more and more trash on the streets. Please teach the people around you to dispose properly and to stop destroying our country :( it is so sad that something so simple is so hard for some people to do,” Solenn tweeted.

“Please teach your friends, neighbors, passer by's to dispose of plastic bags, trash etc the right way."

Last year, she designed t-shirts made of plastic bottles for Generation Hope. Each shirt was made from 11 recycled plastic bottles. Only 200 shirts were available and the money they collected from the project was used to build new classrooms for kids.

Similarly, Kapamilya actor Matteo Guidicelli is a strong advocate of not using plastic straws as these pollute the oceans and endanger marine life.

“We should ban straws. If they don’t, we should stop using them. Lets take the first step. No more plastic straws,” he tweeted.

“My resto doesn’t use plastic straws, I bring my own water tumbler, etc. it’s all gotta start our own small way,” he added.

On May 6, actress Iza Calzado shared on an Instagram post that Hugo, her dog with fiancé Ben Wintle, died after eating plastic.

“Hugo was gone too soon at the age of 5 and a half. He ingested part of a plastic bag that likely contained some leftover food (someone’s misplaced litter), when he was on a walk or off leash at a park. We only discovered his cause of death from the autopsy,” she said.

 

Hugo! ???? About 3 weeks ago, we lost our handsome furry baby and Ben’s best friend, Hugo. He loved all humans so much but ironically it was human behaviour that orchestrated his demise. Hugo loved to socialise with humans, unable to contain his excitement at every greeting with his whimper and vibrating little tail. His attentiveness and obedient nature made an impression of intelligence and his affectionate gaze conveyed a complex soul. Hugo was an explorer always wanting to march forward, but never without others. We took him on many weekend trips to The Farm, the beach, on dive trips and on a few hikes. He had a wilful nature. His conquests include a sparrow kill, trapping a (5 star hotel’s) peacock and humping various celebrities’ legs. However he could never quite catch any cat. Hugo was gone too soon at the age of 5 and a half. He ingested part of a plastic bag that likely contained some leftover food (someone’s misplaced litter), when he was on a walk or off leash at a park. We only discovered his cause of death from the autopsy. As we write this, we are still filled with sadness, anger and guilt. I am no stranger to death but this is the first time I have lost a loved one that I am fully responsible for. The shoulda, woulda, coulda of the situation haunts me every single day. We are writing this to share the realisations we’ve had from this experience. 1. Reduce the use of plastic. Everyone knows that plastic kills sea life but this has been a stark wake up call that plastic can kill in our home. (The PHL is a Top 5 global consumer of plastic and its set to double within 8 years) 2. Let’s pick up other people’s litter. We should set a positive example if we want others to follow suit. 3. If a pet is sick, ask the vet if she is certain of the diagnosis. If not certain then push for more testing. Our vet conducted a barium x-ray study to identify harder to find objects in his gastro tract when it was too late. We hope this incident becomes an educational anecdote reminding us that our day to day decisions have a far reaching ripple effect. Wishing everyone a happy and mindful Sunday. If you have a dog, please give him an extra hug for us. ??

A post shared by ???? DREAM BIG ???? (@missizacalzado) on

 

The following, she said, are her realizations after Hugo’s death:

1. Reduce the use of plastic. Everyone knows that plastic kills sea life but this has been a stark wake up call that plastic can kill in our home. (The PHL is a Top 5 global consumer of plastic and its set to double within 8 years)
2. Let’s pick up other people’s litter. We should set a positive example if we want others to follow suit. 
3. If a pet is sick, ask the vet if she is certain of the diagnosis. If not certain then push for more testing. Our vet conducted a barium x-ray study to identify harder to find objects in his gastro tract when it was too late.

 

Metro Manila among highest in plastic density

Metro Manila has one of the highest plastic waste densities in the world – annually, the 620-square kilometer capital produces over 560,000 metric tons of plastic waste, which translates to about 900 metric tons per square kilometer, said a new study titled “Stemming the Tide: Land-based Strategies for a Plastic-free Ocean” by global advocacy firm Mckinsey Center For Business and Environment.

In comparison, the financial capital of China, Shanghai, has an annual plastic waste density of 200 metric tons per square kilometer, said the study.

According to the study, while the Philippines has an 85 to 90 percent waste collection average rate in urban areas, it plummets to less than 80 percent in rural areas. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has a collection rate of only 40 percent.

Another contributor to the growing post-consumption plastic waste problem is the lack of a proper waste management infrastructure.

The study highlighted key areas where plastics are leaked into the oceans and these includes rural areas that do not have a proper waste collection method due to its low waste density, and high density urban areas that are not able to cope with the influx of development. Illegal dumping by trash haulers and oversaturated dumpsites are also some areas that leak plastic waste into the oceans.

“Higher residual value plastics are more likely to be collected from disposal sites and then resold. This means that products or packaging with low residual value are less likely to be collected; they therefore become a particularly significant contributor to ocean plastic,”

Of the total post-consumption plastic waste produced in the country, 80 percent are low residual value plastics composed of sachets and single-use plastic bags owing to the local retail industry’s sachet-economy wherein products are packaged into single-use portions.

If PET or Polyethylene terephthalate bottles have a high extraction rate, it is quite the opposite for low residual value plastics. Often neglected by waste pickers, plastics belonging to the category have close to zero percentage collection rate.

“Waste pickers simply cannot generate enough wages from low-value plastics to warrant the time spent collecting them. We calculated the earnings for waste pickers using two metrics: the material value of the plastic waste in terms of the price paid for it by primary buyers (“junk shops”), and the average amount of time taken to extract the item from the waste stream. Over a 10-hour collection day focused exclusively on plastic bags, a waste picker might earn as little as P25 ($.50). Were the waste picker to focus on PET bottles, however, he or she might earn more than seven times that amount,” the study said.

The growing post-consumption plastic waste problem is a real concern that needs to be resolved with the cooperation of all stakeholders in various industries and a revisit of the consumption methods of the general public.

ANNE CURTIS ERWAN HEUSSAFF IZA CALZADO MATTEO GUIDICELLI NICO BOLZICO SOLENN HEUSSAFF
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