As part of our Juan Effect program, CEB volunteers in Manila and Cebu joined the 2018 International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC). The global movement, launched more than 30 years ago by the environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy, aims to rally communities towards the common goal of collecting and documenting the trash littering their coastline, and ultimately raise awareness for ocean pollution. Held every third Saturday of September each year, the ICC is the largest volunteer effort for ocean’s health.
In the Philippines, the ICC is backed by Presidential Proclamation No. 470 which declares the International Coastal Clean-Up Day in observance of the Global Coastal Clean-up. Documentation of waste cleaned-up is material to crafting better waste management policies/plans, product packaging designs and in stirring environmental consciousness among the people. Your CEB volunteers were part of 214,165 volunteers—the most among all countries that participate in the ICC!
Some CEB employee-volunteers made the clean-up a family affair. In Manila, the volunteers were joined by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada; while in Cebu, they were joined by students from the University of San Carlos and volunteers from the Philippine National Police.
Volunteers were asked to sort, weigh and document the trash they collected. Common waste items included plastic food wrappers, plastic bottles, and plastic cups. Total waste collected reached over 4 million kilograms. According to Ocean Conservancy, 75% of land-based ocean plastic is from uncollected waste that makes its way to waterways before eventually reaching the ocean.
While the ICC raises awareness for the problem of waste in our oceans, our Juan Effect program is all about the small acts that we all do that can make a big difference.