Increasing Marine Litters: Everyone is Responsible

Saving one plastic a day may help stop the growing global problem on marine litters.

The United Nation Environment Program (UNEP)heads "calls for worldwide ban on pointless thin film plastic bags" on June 8, 2009 in celebration of World Ocean Day. This was after a report brought out the growing global problem on marine litters. This is the "first-ever attempt to take stock of the marine litter situation in the 12 major regional seas around the world

"This report is a reminder that carelessness and indifference is proving deadly for our oceans and its inhabitants," says Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthEcho International and Ocean Conservancy board member. "Offered here are more than mere facts and figures. The time for action is now, and true change will require taking a bold and courageous stand. There are solutions that everyone, everywhere in the world, can adopt to make a positive difference for our water planet."

"From discarded fishing gear to plastic bags to cigarette butts, a growing tide of marine litters is harming oceans and beaches worldwide," said the report.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "Marine litter is symptomatic of a wider malaise: namely the wasteful use and persistent poor management of natural resources. The plastic bags, bottles and other debris piling up in the oceans and seas could be dramatically reduced by improved waste reduction, waste management and recycling initiatives".

"Some of the litter, like thin film single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased-out rapidly everywhere-there is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere. Other waste can be cut by boosting public awareness, and proposing an array of economic incentives and smart market mechanisms that tip the balance in favor of recycling, reducing or re-use rather than dumping into the sea," he said.

Generation of Plastic and Styrofor

The desire for convenience gave birth to the generation of plastic bag and styrofor. Business and corporate areas are the big consumers of plastic bag and styrofor. People are too busy most of them rely to ready-to-eat, microwaveable foods packed in styrofor or plastic, sold in convenience stores.

In Makati,thousands of employees buy foods from jolli jeeps which pack foods in styrofor and plastic bags. I can emagine tons of plastic and styrofor consumed in Makati, alone, everyday. It is sad to think that those plastic and styrofor end as marine litters, contributing to marine pollution, increasing the rubbish thrown out to the seas and endagering "people's safety and health, entrap wildlife, damage nautical equipment and deface coastal areas around the world."

Let us Give Our Share to Save the Oceans

We can do simple, yet powerful things to save our oceans. We can start by just saving one plastic or styrofor a day.

When shopping for groceries I always bring reusable cloth bag. You can buy reusable bags at SM or Rustans Supermarkets. They have this program that when you use the reusable bag for shopping, you can earn points in their loyalty cards. Nakatulong ka pa sa environment.

When I have to buy stuff from drugstores or convenience stores I always ask the cashier/bagger not to put the stuffs I bought in plastic bag. I always carry a bigger bag so that I can just put the things I bought inside. Just don't forget to always ask for your receipt for security.

I always try to pack my lunch so that I can save one plastic bag and one styrofor a day. That way, I am also sure that the food I eat is clean (and delicious). I cannot emagine how the foods packed in plastic and styrofor are prepared.

We are always part of any environmental problem, and accordingly, we should always be part of the solutions. Everyone of us is responsible. Every simple thing that we can do for the planet can make a difference.

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