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Phl observes 12th Earth Hour

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No to plastic love
Mariya Takeuchi’s “Plastic Love” (a Japanese city pop genre song from the 80s that re-emerged on Youtube last year) is in no way connected to the plastic problem as we know it, but just basing on the song’s title itself, we Filipinos love using plastic and have the notoriety of being the world’s third largest producer of plastic trash in the form of single use plastics.

Half of the plastic trash that ends up in the ocean comes from China,Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the United Nations report in 2015.

Earth Hour, which was launched as the #Connect2Earth campaign last year, saw more than 17,900 landmarks and monuments in over 180 countries and territories switching off their lights to show their commitment to and support for raising awareness and inspiring action on conserving nature and biodiversity

“The Philippines is the third major plastic polluter of oceans in the world. Filipinos must unite and create concrete steps to stop this worsening situation. We have to realize how nature is vitally important in our daily lives and preventing single-use plastics from entering nature is a big step towards a greener, more sustainable planet,” said WWF Philippines president and CEO Joel Palma during the recent launch of the Earth Hour 2019 at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas.

12th hour
Earth Hour, the 12th hour for the Philippines since it participated in 2008, will have its main switch-off event on 30 March Saturday, at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds in Makati from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the actual switch-off at 8:30 p.m. Filipinos are also encouraged to switch off non-essential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Earth Hour, which was launched as the #Connect2Earth campaign last year, saw more than 17,900 landmarks and monuments in over 180 countries and territories switching off their lights to show their commitment to and support for raising awareness and inspiring action on conserving nature and biodiversity.

“We’re on our 12th participation as a country for Earth Hour. You can see the tremendous growth of the movement through the years as more countries and more cities in those countries have participated.  It’s not just the WWF that is organizing in some of these countries, but as well as the other organizations  partnering with WWF,” shared Atty. Gia Ibay, WWF Philippines Head of Climate and Energy Program and Earth Hour Pilipinas National director.

WWF Philippines president and CEO Joel Palma.

“The first time the Philippines broke the records was in 2009, when we then claimed that we were the largest grass roots movement because we had organizations in the grass roots level. And they themselves were organizing small pockets of Earth Hour activities,” she added.

But it’s more than just the switching off of lights. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines uses the platform to continue to focus on the issue of single-use plastics and how addressing it by working together to achieve a long-term solution can help reverse the loss of nature.

Focus on plastics

“As I’ve mentioned time and again for the last 30 years I’ve been doing conservation and development work, I never have imagined that plastics will become an issue. As we speak, almost eight million metric tons of plastics are disposed of in our green habitats so we’re here to celebrate our planet, we’re here to celebrate what nature gives us, as source of food, water and our well being so let’s protect it,” Palma said.

While the Filipinos seems nowhere near to a solution, given the large number of plastic trash still being dumped on the waterways everyday that have endangered marine life and, in the context of the water crisis, vital water sources, WWF Philippines is forging on.

With its #AyokoNgPlastik movement and in sync with WWF network’s “No Plastics in Nature” initiative, WWF Philippines hopes to further create awareness on the dangers of single-use plastics, spark conversations, change mindsets and habits of consumers, urge businesses to operate more sustainably and influence policy towards its ultimate goal of mobilizing public support for legislations on plastic waste management.

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