Ilocano youth make way to beat plastic pollution

LAOAG CITY—A group of young Ilocano volunteers is making waves in Ilocos Norte for protecting the marine resources and do away with plastic pollution.

During their free time, they would gather near the beach and pick scattered plastic materials and bottles or they would fun dive and conduct underwater clean-up.

Proudly calling themselves as ocean patrollers, these young individuals are part of the greater environment advocacy group dubbed as “Movement Against Plastic Pollution” or MAPP in Ilocos Norte, which aims to love, protect and educate people about their role stewards of nature.

“Plastic pollution is everyday’s problem. Plastics are everywhere, including in your own dinner table, in your own food. So be part of the solution,” said Patricia Dacanay, a young environmentalist from Currimao town, who is also the founder of MAPP. As an anti-plastic advocate, the 20-year-old Dacanay shows how zero waste lifestyle can be rewarding in the long run.

Together with other youth volunteers, the MAPP is active in social networking sites to promote its anti-plastic advocacy.

In partnership with schools, the movement organized “Usapang Dagay: A marine conservation day camp” on June 9, to reach out to fellow youth and instill awareness on how to get rid of plastic pollution little by little.

Attended by 41 participants, the whole-day event featured discussions on marine and coastal ecosystem, fishery laws, plastic pollution and zero waste lifestyle.

Arthur Valente, Fishery Regulatory Officer of Ilocos Norte, said a number of marine animals and fish are dying due to plastic pollution and not just due to water contamination.

“The solution to the problem on waste starts with oneself. People lack discipline and they tend to abuse it,” said Valente.

Enjoining everyone to be part of the solution, Dacanay said “we don’t need plastic. Our environment need not suffer due to the wrongdoings of man.”