Plastic Wastes Emerge as Manila Bay’s Top Pollutant

Manila City. 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.

The 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
*Composites/Plastic Wrappers, 18.8
Others (cigarette butts, sponge, clothes, etc.), 15.7
Rubbers, 11.9
*Hard Plastics (HDPE/LDPE/PC/PP), 11.0
Biodegradable Wastes, 9.7
*Styrofoam/Polystyrenes, 7.5
*Plastic Bottles (PET), 0.8
Glasses, 0.6
*Disposable Diapers/Napkins, 0.6
Metals/Cans, 0.1
Hazardous Wastes, 0.1

*Plastic Products, 61.9