Say It With Us: #AyokoNgPlastik!
Who knew? The Philippines, while a small country, is the third largest contributor to our oceans' worsening issue of plastic pollution—that's the third largest in the world.
That means every set of plastic utensils that comes with a fast food order, unrecycled grocery and wet market bags, plastic straws, cups, bottles, containers, snack bags and—now that Chrismas is right around the corner—plastic wrapping, to say the very least, are part and parcel of the problem.
If Filipinos (and the rest of the world, too) aren't quick to help reverse the damage, reports show that there could be more plastic than marine life in our seas by the year 2050.
It's an ominous vision of the future presented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, but worry not, ocean-lovers and tree-huggers; WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma assures that the situation is not without hope.
A window of opportunity to be part of the solution, and not the problem, remains open—and it's certainly one within reach.
Partnering with one of the country's most influential organizations to achieve a feat as big as saving our seas, WWF Philippines has locked arms with the Ayala Malls which has also accepted the plastic pollution-elimination mission as their own.
Together, they put forth the long-term #AyokoNgPlastik campaign, a doable, unifying initiative that all Filipinos can play a role in.
By the time you finish reading this, about a million plastic bottles have already been produced, all taking hundreds of years to decompose into smaller pieces of plastic called microplastic that goes up the food chain, affecting us. . This is how dangerous our plastic problem is. What are you doing in your daily life to address the problem? Join the #AyokoNgPlastik movement and share this video far and wide this #WorldEnvironmentDay! . Watch the FULL video on our Facebook and Twitter accounts! . . #plastic #plasticfree #plastics #philippines #pollution #environment #ocean #oceanside #sea #wildlife
About the campaign, Ayala Malls Deputy Head Mariana Zobel de Ayala shares, “Sustainability has long been a priority for Ayala Malls and we’re especially proud to have the chance to continue the momentum with WWF. We launched our initial campaign in 2009, with the aim to bring focus to the importance of sustainable living, and last year, we established our intent for no plastic shopping bags across Ayala Malls.
"We are thrilled to have found a partner in WWF for #AyokoNgPlastik campaign, as we work together for a more sustainable future for the Philippines," she continues.
You read that right—this year and for those yet to come, the Ayala Malls are promising the same quality of shopping experience, but with an added layer of environmental consciousness. Soon, not a single Ayala Mall will use plastic shopping bags in an effort to reduce single-use plastic waste—the worst kind of plastic offender—generated by the country.
The Ayala Malls isn't alone in this, either. Brands and establishments including Bellevue Hotels and Resorts, Bo's Coffee, Corkcicle, Coffee Project, Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, Puerto Pension Inn, foodpanda, HSBC, Impact Hub Manila, IVO, The Lind Boracay, The Moment Group, Toby's Estate, and CIBO are joining in on the cause by changing their business practices to dramatically reduce their plastic waste.
Plastic pollution continues to haunt our oceans and poses as a real-life horror for everyone, including us. If production and usage of plastic remain unchanged, experts predict that there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Let's treat the planet the way we should. Join the #AyokoNgPlastik movement: fb.com/groups/ayokongplastik *No new plastic was purchased for this ad. Minimal recycled plastic sheets were used, which were then digitally enhanced to create the effect. We're excited to share with you how the plastic was repurposed afterwards so be sure to watch our page for updates.
With more and more organizations choosing sustainability over convenience, there is hope for the ordinary Filipino to notice the trend and want to get in on it.
Bring a reusable tote bag (there are tons of stylish designs to choose from!), purchase a set of metal or bamboo utensils and straws (they make lovely Christmas gifts, too), make it a habit to carry around a water container, and of course, recycle plastics as often as possible.
The change of habits might seem inconsequential on an individual scale, but imagine if 100 million Filipinos in the country followed suit—now that's the change WWF Philippines, and the rest of the world, needs.
Take your cue from WWF Philippines National Ambassadors Rovilson Fernandez, Iza Calzado, and Marc Nelson. While it might have been easier for them to go about their lives without considering the long-term effects of how they manage their plastic usage, they chose otherwise—there was simply too much at stake for them not to change.
The same goes for the newly established Next Generation Council (NGC), a group of local movers and shakers who have put staunch environmentalism at the heart of their social responsibility efforts. Chaired by Raymond Rufino, the NGC's members include television host and columnist Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi, Philux COO Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez, Magsaysay Transport and Logistics COO Jesse Maxwell, Teach for the Philippines CEO Clarissa Delgado, The Moment Group Co-Founder and Creative Director Abba Napa, and former WWF Philippines National Youth Council Chairperson Alexa Cancio.
Together, these ambassadors hope to be vehicles of awareness, and more importantly, living examples of concrete ways to make shift to sustainable lifestyles.
So if you're ready, it's time to say it with us and mean it:
Save our oceans and tell the wolrd, ayoko ng plastik!
Photos from @wwfphilippines