Stop dumping plastics in canals – EcoWaste

Green advocates appealed to the public Sunday to stop the disposal of plastic bags along waterways after heavy rains again triggered flashfloods in the metropolis last Friday.

As the country braces for severe storms and accompanying floods, the EcoWaste Coalition asked the public to prevent disposing of plastic bags that clog waterways especially during the rainy season.

EcoWaste coordinator Rei Panaligan said the flashfloods in some portions of Metro Manila last Friday was reminiscent of the floods caused by tropical storm “Ondoy” last year.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier warned that a repeat of storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” is likely with the prevalence of the La Niña event this year.

Based on the US National Weather Service (NWS), most climate models predict a transition from El Niño by June to the onset of La Niña conditions by July to September 2010.

EcoWaste also noted that, “carelessly thrown plastic bags block the drainage systems and waterways and will find their way into the country’s biggest ‘landfill,’ the Manila Bay, causing massive marine pollution.”

“Let us not forget the lessons of Ondoy and together cut our waste size, starting with single-use plastic bags,” Panaligan said.

The group urged Filipinos to reject all forms of littering and dumping, reduce trash and make it a habit to separate discards at source for reusing, recycling and composting.

A study by EcoWaste and Greenpeace show that synthetic plastic materials constitute 76 percent of the floating trash items in Manila Bay, with plastic bags comprising 51 percent; sachets and junk food wrappers, 19 percent; Styrofoam containers, five percent; and hard plastics, one percent.

The rest of the rubbish found in Manila Bay consisted of rubber (10 percent) and biodegradable discards (13 percent).

Another study published in 2009 by the US-based Ocean Conservancy revealed that 679,957 of over 1.2 million pieces of marine litter of various types that were gathered in seaside areas during the 2008 International Coastal Clean-Up Day in the country were plastic bags.

From MB

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