Why can’t the Philippines solve its trash problem?

Photo by Danny Pata/gmanetwork.com

By Vernise L Tantuco/rappler.com – It’s an unfortunate but familiar sight: trash strewn all over Roxas Boulevard due to the southwest monsoon winds (hanging habagat) blowing them over from Manila Bay.

The bay itself is covered in trash after a storm. This happens annually, and nobody bats an eyelash when it does. Trash is part of life in the city, especially Metro Manila.

But the internet paints a different picture.

On the Facebook page Buhay Zero Waste, you’ll find posts about “eco-bricks”, shampoo bars, and mess kits – just a few of the tips and tricks their more than 24,000 members give and receive about how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

From 2012 to 2017, the Philippines was consistently among the top participating countries in Ocean Conservatory’s International Coastal Cleanup. This is with the exception of 2016, when events in the Philippines were “canceled due to geopolitical circumstances.”

The table below shows the top 10 participating countries in the ICC from 2012 to 2017. Swipe left and right to see all columns.

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