PH Groups Back Global Movement to “Break Free from Plastic”

#breakfreefromplastic goes live, gains ground

Environmental groups from the Philippines have thrown their warm support behind a newly-launched movement that seeks to stem the tide of plastic pollution across the globe.

The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm - Asia, Mother Earth Foundation and Oceana Philippines expressed support for the Break Free from Plastic (#breakfreefromplastic) movement coinciding with its launch today, September 15.

The above groups participated in the multi-country process, including a global meeting held in Tagaytay City last July, which led to the formation of the movement.

“We believe in a world where the land, sky, oceans, and water are home to an abundance of life, not an abundance of plastic, and where the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat is free of toxic by‐products of plastic pollution,” the movement’s vision statement says. 

According to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, “the birth of this movement mirrors the increasing global concern against worsening plastic pollution and the urgency to stem the tide to prevent our Mother Earth from further drowning in plastics.”

“We contribute to this global movement by pushing for prohibitions on single-use plastic bags, plastic microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products and on toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium and mercury in packaging, and by promoting socially just and eco-friendly waste solutions sans dumping and burning,” she added.

Environmental activist Von Hernandez of Greenpeace pointed out: "Our continued dependence on single-use plastics and disposables is bringing us to the brink of a global crisis that now threatens the health of our oceans and our collective well-being. It is time we end this destructive cycle and break free from the scourge of plastics pollution."

“The high volume of plastic trash is being used by incinerator proponents to justify burn disposal technologies such as ‘waste-to-energy.’  We can fight off incinerators by depriving them of plastics and other feedstock to burn and pursuing ecological solutions,” stated Anne Larracas of GAIA Asia-Pacific.

Towards a future that is free of plastic pollution, the Break Free from Plastic movement will pursue the following shared principles:

1. Our lifestyles and economy fit within the environment limits of the planet.

2. Waste is reduced, first and foremost.

3. The life cycle of the materials and products we use – from extraction and production, to end use, recycling, composting, and disposal –sustain the health of the people and the planet.

4. Strong community action and partnerships among citizens, workers, government, sector experts, and supportive business leaders guide decisions about present and future material design, manufacturing, and waste management.

5. Waste pickers and recycling workers are supported to improve the systems they operate in and can co-lead a just transition to a new and safe materials economy.

6. Producers take responsibility for the full life cycle costs and impacts of their products and packaging, and are redesigning and innovating better materials and systems.

7. Where plastic products and packages are necessary, they are re-used, repaired, or, failing that, recycled; and toxic substances are eliminated from their production.

8. No new incinerators are constructed, and renewable energy incentives are eliminated for plastics and waste burning. This includes gasification, pyrolysis, cement kilns, and other burn “waste-to-energy” facilities.

9. Organic waste returns to the soils and zero waste systems reduce reliance on landfills and incinerators.

10. The systems we build and materials we use slow climate change, rather than accelerate it.

Interested groups and individuals who share its vision and principles may join the movement by signing up at