by Honey Mae Simeon and Celine Lazaro, SEPTEMBER 2022
According to World Bank research from March 2021, the Philippines is a huge producer of plastic trash, producing 2.7 million metric tons of material each year, much of it in the form of single-use, non-recyclable sachets. According to World Wildlife Fund research published in 2020, up to 35 percent, or around 945,000 metric tons, of plastic garbage enters the Philippines’ environment each year, with over 750,000 metric tons tossed in the ocean.
Most of the plastic waste that isn’t recycled ends up in our rivers and oceans. Only 16% of plastics are recycled; the remainder is either disposed of in landfills or burned. The environment is harmed by the removal of all this plastic. This poses a hazard to the climate as plastic produces greenhouse gases as it slowly breaks down, in addition to being dangerous to the animals and plants whose natural habitats have turned into aquatic rubbish patches. Methane and ethylene are released because of heat and sunlight, and the rate of release increases as the plastic disintegrates into smaller and smaller bits. According to a study, microplastics interfere with the ability of marine microorganisms to release oxygen and take in carbon dioxide. At least 50% of the oxygen on Earth is created in the ocean, primarily by plankton. Additionally, this plankton might speed up the depletion of ocean oxygen by feeding on microplastics.
Consumption reduction is one of the simplest strategies to reduce waste. Upcycling is the process of turning discarded or undesirable objects into useable products or adding value to an already existing product. Upcycling is done to cut down on waste and lengthen the life of the materials that are used. Upcycling, also known as repurposing, has significant environmental advantages because it eliminates the need to create new products. Upcycling helps the environment by limiting the use of additional natural resources and lowering air, land, and water pollution created during the production of new items. Additionally, it lessens the quantity of extra garbage, like plastic, that might otherwise end up in landfills, rivers, and oceans.
Here are some examples of upcycling,
- Repurposed your old clothes. It can be transformed into things like a face mask, cushion covers, tote bags, shopping bags, etc…
- Old Furniture and Pallet Wood. It can be made into an outdoor table and chairs etc. All you need is a sander, a saw, and some paint.
- Old Container. Any type of container can be utilized to grow beautiful indoor or outdoor flowerpots, little herb gardens, or both. Even old shoes and wellies have been used for this, making for a fantastically eccentric and distinctive decor show to dazzle your guests. You may even recycle old tires or drawers into a special plant stand that you can use long after its original use has been served.
Don’t think of throwing items that you don’t want and need anymore because your trash could be more valuable. Just “THINK OUT OF THE TRASH” and remember “YOUR IMAGINATION IS THE LIMIT”. By doing small things we can save Mother Earth.
About the writer:
Honey Mae Simeon . Silently working to achieve the goal. Believes that the only limit to achieving one’s dream is ourselves. Hiking is my stress reliever, nature’s serenity and beauty is my peace, and the winds are the music of my soul
Celina Joyce D. Lazaro. Simply Celine. Graduated as a Computer Engineer in Bulacan State University and current position as Toll and Traffic Systems Associate. Bubbly but shy. Finds peace in quiet places. Also an optimist.