|This is merely .01% of the trash that was collected from the shoreline at the Manila Bay Clean Up Marathon this morning. Total number of trash collected was 100 sacks.|
The Manila Bay 3-Day Clean Up Marathon was organized by non-profit indie Plastic Free Philippines (A.K.A. Anna Dawson). Anna, who hails from New Zealand, cycles along the Philippine coastline and makes it her mission to reduce the plastic in our oceans via beach clean-ups.
If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you'd know that I hold Manila Bay pretty close to my heart as it is one of the places I regularly run in. Aside from the cleaner streets, the sidewalks have vastly improved to accommodate pedestrians, runners, and even bikers too! That's why when I heard about the attempt to clean up Manila Bay, I immediately knew I wanted to volunteer.
I got to the meeting area, a tent set-up near U.S. Embassy, a little after 7:00 A.M. Anna and the Philippine Coast Guards were there to welcome the volunteers and give a few basic instructions for the beach clean-up. Basically, it's pick up the plastics and other trash, and collect the glass and/or aluminum for recycling.
This wasn't my first beach clean-up, but it was my first time to do Manila Bay. And wow, what an eye opener it was!
In less than an hour, I've already managed to fill 3/4 of a large sack with assorted trash. Most of the trash I've collected were plastic bags, styrofoam cups, candy wrappers, plastic straws, disposable lighters, and toothbrushes. Unmentionables like sanitary pads and human feces were present too. It was pretty disgusting, really.
Oh, our dear Manila... ~sigh~
|Greening 'em young.|
School kids participated at the Manila Bay Clean Up Marathon too!
There's Anna Dawson of Plastic Free Philippines (in black) at the back.
However, at the other end of the bay, there were cheers and chants and pledges from school children to keep our city, our country, our Earth, a cleaner and greener place. And then you think, Hell yeah, we can do this! Baby steps. One plastic bag at a time.
Kudos to the teachers who decided to let their class join this clean-up. What a wonderful way to teach and inspire.
I'm really glad I decided to join the clean-up today. I usually bring my own reusable bag, water bottle, and coffee tumbler, but I guess they're not enough. Just this past week, I had 3 glasses of juice in paper cups and plastic straws. Notably, it's the number of straws I collected today that made me realize just how much we take for granted the things we consume daily.
It's time to be more conscious and reduce our trash. And this beach clean-up marathon is just a step closer to doing more.
The Manila Bay 3-Day Clean Up Marathon was held from November 23-25, 2016. If you want to know more or when the next Manila Bay Clean Up Marathon will be, just follow Plastic Free Philippines on Facebook here for more updates.