Editorial | Under the heap of garbage

We’ve seen the unimaginable filth found in Manila flashed on TV the past week and we quiver in disgust at the horrible sight. Discarded plastics of all sizes and shapes seem to have a life of their own, congregating in places so unfit for human habitation. The heavy rains in Manila over the weekend served only to magnify the mountain of trash swept into the Manila Bay.

Closer to home, we have also seen the floating islands of plastic and all sorts of debris along Samal strait and in some of the coves where we bring tourists for island-hopping expeditions. Navigators of these tourist vessels say the floating garbage comes from Davao City and brought by the sea current to Samal island.

Urban living does exact a certain price on the health of the environment.

Efforts of well-meaning private groups to clean the seas and the coastal communities are not enough, simply palliatives, if people do not practice proper waste management disposal wherever they are. The sad thing is, the campaign to recycle, reuse, and reduce the use of non-biodegradable materials do not seem to stick, even if the effects of environmental degradation now stare right at our faces.

In a report by the City Information Office, over 3,000 sacks of garbage were retrieved by Bantay Dagat volunteers from the 32 coastal areas of Davao for the month of May 2018 alone. These were mostly plastic bottles, wrappers, tires, sacks and rubber slippers drifting along the coastal areas. Washed into the sea, these become the cause of many marine animals’ death. The Bone Museum has become the repository of bones and sad stories of dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles that have perished due to ingestion of plastic, twine and other debris.

There should be a more vigorous and unrelenting campaign against the use of single plastic containers, straws and all kinds of non-biodegradable materials that this generation can’t seem to live without. We do not seem to develop a conscience when it comes to destroying the environment. We are reckless. If this goes on, nature will surely exact its price. And where will we be? We might be swept under the heap of garbage, too.

Posted in Opinion