The Philippines generates 2.7 million tons of plastic waste annually and 20 percent — or half a million tons — of that leaks into oceans which make the country the world’s third largest ocean polluter despite a waste management act coming into effect 18 years ago.
Despite this tag, steps are being taken or programs being formulated to ensure that the nation and its people will be educated regarding the proper disposal of plastic wastes.
In Nagcarlan, Laguna, its Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) kicked off an awareness and incentive program, dubbed as “Palit Plastic Bottle Sari-sari Store,” which aims to regulate plastic usage and encourage proper disposal of waste through recycling.
The project is set to give residents school supplies in exchange for 1.5-liter and 1.75-liter plastic bottles. According to the SK council of Barangay Banilad Facebook page, the green initiative is meant to help provide students in the community with school materials as the opening of classes for the new academic year draws near.
“Proyektong pang-edukasyon at pangkalikasan! Kapalit ng plastic bottle niyo ay mga school supplies para sa nalalapit na pasukan,” the group announced.
The youth council explained that two plastic bottles can be exchanged for one notebook, one bottle is enough for a sharpener, a pair of plastic bottles is required to get a pencil, and four plastic bottles can be exchanged for a box of eight crayons.
The youth council’s project has received cheers and praises online, amassing more than 5,000 Facebook reactions and 10,000 plus shares.
But this is not the first time such a program was formulated, as in February, Barangay Tartaria in Silang, Cavite also came up with a project that would give locals a kilogram of rice in exchange for a kilogram of plastic, which also quickly went viral.