The death of a young whale in the shores of Compostela Valley and the shocking amount of plastic found in its stomach—40 kilos, at that—is once again a proof of the worsening plastic pollution in our oceans.
It happens not just in the Philippines. Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines Abigail Aguilar says it’s also occurring in Thailand and Indonesia. “The frequency on which marine animals are dying due to plastic ingestion is alarming,” she says in a statement. “In less than a year, whales, dolphins, and turtles have died, mistaking and ingesting plastic for food.”
A photo of a crablet trapped inside a plastic cup that recently went viral is yet another undeniable proof of the damage single-use plastic is causing. It is one of the many alarming images showing the current state of the global marine biodiversity epicenter, Verde Island Passage in Batangas City.
“The cup and crab photo was just the beginning,” conservation and wildlife photographer Noel Guevara writes in a Facebook post. He, together with Greenpeace, are part of the three-day underwater exploration in the said marine life-rich area.
The result of their trip is a series of photographs showing plastic from fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies littering the ocean floor, corals, and even the ocean surface. It puts into visual perspective the 163 million sachets produced by FMCGs in the country, as reported by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
Beyond acknowledging the plastic problem through the photos, though, both Guevara and Greenpeace are calling for action.
“The best solution is to refuse single-use plastics and packaging altogether,” the photographer suggests, while the environment group adds, “[We are] calling on corporations to take bold and immediate action to phase out single-use plastics for the sake of impacted communities.”
What are your thoughts on these images?
Photos courtesy of Greenpeace and Noel Guevara
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