SAM_8811SAM_8804There’s nothing that stuck in my mind more during the International Coastal Clean up Day event than the thought that a simple act of throwing a candy wrapper in the street would add up to a heap of harmful trash in the ocean.  That eye opening statement is what I want to stress more than anything else in this article, as the whole trash crisis really starts with one person.  That unmindful act of throwing a tiny cigarette butt in the street can lead to a bigger, irreversible problem.
SAM_8881During the celebration of the the International Coastal Clean Up Day hosted by WWF at Hamilo Coast last September 19, 2015, it was explained that the garbage pile up in Manila’s coastal waters eventually floats to Hamilo Coast after.   These are tiny pieces of garbage that originate in the streets of Metro Manila.  So it’s not just the obvious oil tankers, dynamite fishers, or residents of shanties who live along the bay area that poison our seas, but also you and I are to blame for the destruction of our seas.

SAM_8835WWF admitted that this yearly activity of cleaning up the coast is merely a symbolic event to show people the harm they are doing to the ocean, our source of food.  The International Coastal Clean Up Day is also a reminder for people to take responsibility over their trash disposal.

SAM_8847“Trash in the streets, end up in the ocean,” reminds a WWF official as he shares updates on the progress and statistics of current habits.  He shared the  top polluters of the ocean were namely plastic wrappers, plastic bottles, .  But the big winner of the top polluter award of the Philippine seas are . . . cigarette butts.  You heard me, smokers, you are the major culprit for 2015.  Cigarette butts were the most collected trash this year.  If you don’t care about your health, at least care about what you are collectively doing to our oceans.SAM_8883

Personally, I have noticed a lot of shampoo sachets, a boot, glove, and soda cans among the gunk of other forms of matter lying beneath the sands of Papaya Cove mangroves where we were assigned.  Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were also around to give a helping hand, among other volunteers.  Amid the fun gathering that brought the media, volunteers, Hamilo Coast management, WWF members, AFP together as one in helping mother Earth, the stark reality remains that our oceans are dying with fishes and other sea creatures reducing in great numbers with the destruction of the corals.  This is something weSAM_8863 should always keep in mind the next time we throw away that harmless candy wrapper or tiny cigarette butt out the car window.  We must correct that irresponsible habit now,  keep the garbage in your bags and pockets until you find the proper place to throw it.  Let the children see this example of good behavior.   The solution begins with this small step.

SAM_8814WWF-Philippines and Hamilo Coast have been long-term conservation allies since 2007. WWF-Philippines and Hamilo Coast have so far implemented initiatives on coastal resource management, sustainable property development, solid waste management, ecotourism, and renewable energy. In 2014, Hamilo Coast hosted the celebration of Coral Triangle Day, which highlights the need to conserve the rich marine resources of the Coral Triangle, the planet’s hotbed of marine life.

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