Protect the Ocean from Trash and Pollution

Quezon City. A waste and pollution watchdog called for solidarity and action to protect the ocean from turning into a “floating landfill” as the World Ocean Day is observed today around the globe.

“The ocean and other water bodies are turning into pollution hotspots where huge amounts of non-biodegradable trash, particularly plastics, are dumped daily and thus creating floating landfills. Fertilizer and pesticide runoffs from farms as well as untreated effluents from residential, commercial and industrial establishments are also damaging and killing the marine ecosystems,” Ben Galindo of the Sagip Pasig Movement and the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“We can no longer put too small a price on the world’s ocean. As its common beneficiaries, we need to protect the ocean from trash and pollution and other harmful activities,” he added.

According to the EcoWaste Coalition, the ocean is home to diverse creatures and ecosystems that provide humans not only with food, but also with vital ingredients for medicines and other products. The ocean helps in regulating the climate as well as in spawning storms that bring fresh water needed by land-dwelling plants and animals. The ocean is also important for moving materials between continents and for creating jobs from related industries such as fishing, trade and tourism.

A discards survey conducted in 2006 by the EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace Southeast Asia reveals that synthetic plastic materials account for 76% of the floating trash in Manila Bay, out of which 51% are plastic bags.

The EcoWaste Coalition also called to mind a report in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) saying that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic trash.

To help with the global effort to conserve and protect the ocean, the EcoWaste Coalition urge the public to cut down on the use of plastic bags, reject all forms of littering and dumping, reduce trash and make it a habit to separate discards at source for reusing, recycling and composting.

Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition endorsed a global petition asking the United Nations to issue a resolution officially designating June 8 as World Ocean Day. First proposed by Canada in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the World Ocean Day has yet to obtain official recognition
from the UN.

A UN-proclaimed observance of the World Ocean Day, the petition says, should serve “as a means each year to celebrate the world’s ocean and its rich diversity of life; highlight global ocean awareness, education and action programs to promote a healthy and productive ocean; and remind nations, governments, businesses, and individuals of their responsibility to protect the world’s living ocean and conserve its resources for present and future generations.”

“We invite everyone to endorse as well this global petition and make a difference for our ocean planet,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

To sign on, please log on to:

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376