I posted this on my Facebook timeline on Sunday, May 22 (PH Standard Time), and I thought it deserved a place in my blog, so here goes:
When I flew back home in mid-2021, I found out that my household does not segregate. Well, there was a bin for biodegradable waste, and then another bin for everything else. No recycling bins for plastics, glass, cardboard/paper or whatsoever. A few weeks later, thanks to some friends and online searching, I discovered a few local companies that recycle a number of things. These include plastics, Styrofoam, glass, cardboard, scratch paper, old linens, and more recently, tarpaulins. Since then, I’ve managed to get a few household members on board with regards to cleaning used plastics (from junk food, shampoo bottles, C2 bottles, you name it) and drying them prior to throwing them in a separate bin to be dropped off at a recycling station every 2 weeks. After roughly 6 months, I’ve transitioned my household to begin segregating cardboard boxes and paper. We’ve continued this practice to this day.
The recent results of this month’s national elections have left me feeling overwhelmed, scared, and dismayed, to say the least. I even remember telling myself that if Leni Robredo wins, I shall take a more active part in nation-building. That did not happen, but there is no turning back for me now. What other things can I do to help my country that would less likely lead me or any of my family members in jail? Well, luckily, there is an Angat Buhay NGO program in the works to be launched in July 1 – but what else can we do?
This is a long intro to say that if you want to help the country in any way, regardless of which camp you’re in, you can start recycling. In a March 2021 article at The World Bank, it says that the Philippines generates 2.7 million tons of plastic each year, and an estimated 20% ends up in our beautiful oceans. That is not good. In the 2022 presidential debates, I don’t think I heard of any platforms about increasing circularity, waste segregation and recycling initiatives. It probably wasn’t going to be any candidate’s priority anyway, so for those who have the resources to do something, well, then, do something.
Here are some local companies that you can follow to get you started on your recycling and low-waste journey:
It’s not a good habit to live life as if someone will always be there to pick up after your trash and your mess. If we want to fight for a clean government, we can begin with our own household.
“There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.”
– Annie Leonard
*Update: Here's an article from Spot.ph: "Best Places Where You Can Drop Off Your Plastic Waste" as another helpful resource.
Regina De Vera
I am a Filipino actress alternating between New York and Manila. I received my acting training at The Juilliard School. Take a look around!