It has been two years since the community of Rio Tuba has strictly implemented the “no plastic policy,” and the response of the people exceeded my expectation. Well, I have to say.

Coral Bay Nickel Corporation and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation have always been supportive of different environmental programs that include combating marine pollution. Since 2005, CBNC has been actively participating in coastal clean up with the aim of combating plastic pollution, especially in the ocean.

Recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has called on the government, business sector and other stakeholders to work together to find the best solution to plastic pollution, which has become one of the most serious threat to the health of oceans and a major hazard to marine biodiversity.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has called to “cut down on the use of plastics that end up in the ocean and pose a threat to marine life.”

For me, it cannot be done by the government alone, or even a multi-million company (alone). | believe a stronger public-private partnership, with the support of civil society organizations, would help translate political and corporate commitment to address plastic pollution into tangible strategies and investable action plans.

Based on the study of Ocean Conservancy, a US-based environmental advocacy group, eight million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year on top of the 150 million tons of plastic that already circulate in the ocean, contributing to loss of species and the contamination of food chain.

Marine plastic pollution is one of the latest and most alarming issues the world is facing with the Philippines as one of the major contributors to global problem. This is primarily due to its so-called “sachet economy” where companies are selling products in single-used plastic sachets.

I urge everyone to join the pledge for our environment; a pledge that will institutionalize our collective action towards addressing the issue of marine debris.

Take note, what we are talking now is just marine matters. Consider the bigger picture of problem on plastic pollution in the country. It indeed needs the help of everyone to lessen the problem, if not to really solve.

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