Cleanup day comes to Philippine capital’s polluted bay

Cleanup day comes to Philippine capital's polluted bay

Waters along the Manila Bay, famous for its idyllic sunsets, are heavily polluted by oil, grease and trash from nearby residential areas and ports.

The Philippines is rich in marine resources, with nearly 36,300km of coastline in the archipelago of more than 7,600 islands.

But it is the world’s top polluter when it comes to releasing plastic waste into the ocean, accounting for roughly a third of the total, according to an April 2022 report by the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data, a scientific online publication.

“We need to do these (cleanup drives) for our environment and to discourage people from throwing trash on the seaside,” Janet Panganiban, a 36-year-old volunteer, told Reuters.

Critics say laws regulating solid waste are inadequate and poorly enforced, leaving governments and communities struggling to address the pollution crisis.

The International Coastal Cleanup Day is held every third Saturday of September to raise awareness of the growing garbage problems affecting coastlines around the world.

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