Plastic Wastes Emerge as Manila Bay’s Top Pollutant

The latest waste audit in Manila Bay conducted by several government,
environmental and youth groups revealed that plastic discards remain as top
pollutants in Manila Bay.
Manila Bay waste audit, led by the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for
Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, and Mother Earth Foundation was conducted
in observance of the 5th International Plastic Bag-Free Day, and is a follow up
to their 2006 and 2010 discards survey in the heavily-polluted body of water.

1,594 liters of wastes collected off and along the shores of Manila Bay were
segregated into 12 classifications for audit. The waste discards were
categorized as plastic bags, composites or plastic wrappers, polystyrenes,
plastic bottles, hard plastics, rubbers, metals and cans, glasses, hazardous
wastes, diapers and napkins, biodegradables and other discards.

Of the 1,594 litters of collected debris, plastic materials accounted for the
highest percentage overall at 61.9 percent, with plastic bags topping the list
at 23.2 percent and followed by composites or plastic wrappers at 18.8 percent.

Other discards such as cigarette butts, clothes, rags and sponges ranked second
at 15.7 percent. Rubber wastes such as footwear ranked third at 11.9 percent,
while biodegradable wastes placed fourth at 9.7 percent.

In 2010, a similar discards survey in Manila Bay conducted by the same groups
found 75.5 percent of wastes were plastic discards, 27.7 percent of which were
plastic bags.

In 2006, EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace found synthetic plastic materials
comprising 76.9 percent of the garbage in Manila Bay, with plastic bags
constituting 51.4 percent.

The groups reiterated their demand for a nationwide plastic bag ban that will
support growing efforts of local government units in addressing plastic
pollution in the country.


Additional Information:

Complete Results (Classification, Percentage):

*Plastic Bags, 23.2
Wrappers, 18.8
(cigarette butts, sponge, clothes, etc.), 15.7
Plastics (HDPE/LDPE/PC/PP), 11.0
Wastes, 9.7
Bottles (PET), 0.8
Diapers/Napkins, 0.6
Wastes, 0.1

*Plastic Products, 61.9