DENR-1 to hold ‘plastic-free’ fun run

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Ilocos Region will conduct a fun run on June 4, in observance of the month-long World Environment Day, ditching all types of plastic during the activity in line with this year’s theme.

This year’s World Environment Day theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it”

DENR-1 information officer Magie Santos, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, said some 400 participants have already signified to join the activity but registration is still open and free.

Santos said participants to the fun run should bring their own tumbler for water as the DENR would not be giving away bottled waters, as well as jersey and other plastic materials.

But, the agency will put up water stations in the 4.5 kilometers route from Pennsylvania Avenue to the baywalk, she added.

“We will be wearing our own uniforms on the fun run, as this will not only reduce the use of chemical in printing the t-shirts but also helps the government save money, which could be used in other more important projects for the environment,” Santos said.

She stressed the importance of government offices, industries, academes and individuals to look for sustainable alternative to reduce the excessive use of single-used plastic, which pollutes the ocean and risks the lives of marine animals.

“This could also be hazardous to our health since we consume these marine lives that might have been intoxicated with plastic chemicals,” Santos said.

Recent reports on plastic facts state that there are 500 billion plastic bags all over the world, eight million tons end up in the ocean and 50 percent of which are single-used plastic bags, said Santos.

“This is something we need to address, sacred duty of Filipinos not just the DENR, an urgent call to everyone that we need to work on it,” she said.

Santos noted that the DENR and the Environment Management Bureau are gradually implementing and monitoring the compliance of the local government units in the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“If we care for the environment and for the next generation, then we should act now,” Santos said. Hilda Austria/PNA-northboundasia.com