Plastic waste generation study ranks PH 3rd: The country should wake up, says EcoWaste Coalition

“A recent study on plastic
wastes generated by coastal countries and entering the oceans should serve as a
wake up call to the Philippine government, the industry, and the public in
general after the report ranked the country 3rd.”

Zero waste and anti-plastic
bag campaign network EcoWaste Coalition released this statement to the media
today in relation to a study, “Plastic waste inputs from land
into the ocean”
, which
was published in the journal Science
last week.
The report which placed
Philippines 3rd highest plastic waste generator had China at the top
followed by Indonesia.
According to the study authors, “Population size and
the quality of waste management systems largely determine which countries
contribute the greatest mass of uncaptured waste available to become plastic
marine debris.”
“This is what we’ve been talking about for
years now!,” exclaimed Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste
“Almost fifteen years of
poor implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and
unheeded calls for national ban on the undoubtedly problematic and persistent
plastic bags apparently helped a lot in putting the country at the 3rd
place in the study’s embarrassing list,” added Lucero.
“We are a nation of
seafarers and fishers, not sea destroyers polluting the oceans with plastics
and toxics,” she said. 
In 2014, during the follow up to their 2006 and 2010 waste audits of the Manila Bay, EcoWaste Coalition,
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, and Mother Earth
Foundation still found that plastics topped the list of the bay’s marine debris
at 61.9%; of this, 23.2% are plastic bags.
same group’s waste audits in 2006 and 2010 yielded similar results: among
plastic products, plastic bags were the main garbage contributor in terms of
volume, comprising 51.4 and 27.7 percent, respectively, of the debris in Manila
On a global scale, the “Plastic
waste inputs from land into the ocean”
study has calculated that
plastic debris reaching the oceans from 192 coastal countries in 2010 was
somewhere between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons. The amount came from what
the report estimated as “275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste
generated in said coastal countries that year.”
Dr. Jenna Jambeck of the University of
the study’s lead author, said in a news report
in a more visual way that “the quantity entering the ocean is equal to about
five plastic grocery bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the
The study suggests that some 17.5
million tonnes a year, that is 155 million tonnes between now and then, could
be entering the oceans by 2025 if nothing is done to check the situation.
Whether we have a clear
picture of the magnitude of the frightening impact of this marine plastic
pollution, Kara Lavender Law, co-author of the study, frankly said in an
interview with Science: “I don’t think we can conceive of the worst-case
scenario. We really don’t know what this plastic is doing.”
Another co-author of the study, Roland
Geyer, said that to clean the oceans of plastic was not likely; the only
solution was “turning off the tap”.

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