Quezon City. In time for the summer vacation in which many local and foreign tourists alike flock the beaches, zero waste campaign network EcoWaste Coalition appealed to vacationers not to trash these favorite summer destinations.
“The occasion of beating the summer heat in fun and merriment, wading in the sea water, tend to end up messy in many beaches. The more the tourists, the more the trash, are the usual simple equation,” Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition’s National Coordinator, said.
“Beach litter is not only an eyesore, it pollutes the environment and kills marine life by getting entangled in trash or when they mistake rubbish for food,” Lucero stressed.
“In 2013, during the clean-up of some 13,000 miles of coastlines in 92 countries around the globe, more than 12.3 million pounds of trash, from cigarette butts to plastic bags, from food wrappers to beverage bottles, to anything you can imagine, including an air conditioner and a couch, have been recovered,” she added citing Ocean Conservancy data.
This summer, as more tourists are destined to find their ways to the Philippine beaches, the EcoWaste Coalition asked vacationers and even the locals who live along beaches to keep the coastlines clean.
The following tips from the EcoWaste Coalition should guide everyone on making the beaches trash-free:
1. Plan ahead before heading to the beach. Make a checklist of what you need to bring, avoiding those that easily end up as trash.
2. When you purchase your “baon,” buy in bulk and choose items in reusable or recyclable containers. Avoid buying in plastic sachets and “tipid-packs.”
3. Make it a point to avoid single-use and disposable products and packaging, such as plastic bags, polystyrene packaging, disposable plastic cups and tableware, paper plates, plastic straws, disposable tissue papers and napkins, and the like. Use reusable ones instead, such as “bayong” and cloth bag, reusable plates, cups, forks and spoons.
4. It would be good for your health and the environment to avoid junk foods. Cook healthy and real food. Peanuts, real corn, homemade camote and potato chips are a lot better munchies than pre-packaged junk foods.
5. Be sure to bring with you trash bags for carrying back home segregated discards for later recovery, recycling and composting.
6. Bring pail or similar containers suitable for wet goods. This will prove handy when buying fish or seafood for cooking in the beach or as “pasalubong.”
7. Don’t toss cigarette butts anywhere on the beach, rather, bring it back home in separate container for proper management. Better still, quit smoking. You have not only dealt with the cigarette butt trash, but also with the health and environmental issues associated with smoking.
8. Bring home in a separate litter bag, hazardous wastes, such as batteries.
9. Courteously remind others not to litter on the beach as the act can harm the environment, marine life and human health.
10. Before leaving the beach, heed the outdoorsmen’s adage to “leave nothing but footprints.”
11. When you go home, it would help a lot to do a mini clean-up of your area, picking even litters not of your making, so others may at least blush at seeing their trash fixed by others. People may also notice you and follow suit.