Philippines divers clear plastic waste from corals for World Cleanup Day By Reuters
© Reuters. Carmela Sevilla is a diver who holds a trash bag during an underwater clean-up in Bauan, Batangas Province (Philippines), September 18, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Blaza
By Peter Blaza
MANILA (Reuters) – Divers in the Philippines pulled plastic bags, drinks bottles and fishing nets from a coral reef on Saturday, joining an annual cleanup that aims to highlight the impact of garbage on the world’s oceans.
As part of World Cleanup Day, about a dozen divers cleaned the beach and reef from trash. The area is popular for its diving, snorkelling, and swimming.
Carmela Sevilla, an organizer, told Reuters that for every net or fishing line removed, a turtle could be saved from getting trapped in the net or dying. She also said she was able to prevent a turtle’s death by holding up a bag of trash.
One of the most important marine resources-rich nations in the world is The Philippines. It has more than 7600 islands and a coastline of nearly 36,300km (22,555 mile).
However, campaigners warn that its marine resources could be at risk due to the negligence of local authorities and poor implementation of environmental laws.
Haley Osbourne (35) from Canada, who lives in the Philippines for five years, is another participant. He said that divers must do their part and pick up all rubbish while they are underwater.
Plastic trash that litters the oceans of the globe comes mostly from coastlines and rivers.
According to an 2021 report from Our World in Data (an online scientific publication), 81% of this plastic is thought to be Asian. A third of Asian plastic originates in the Philippines.
World Cleanup Day takes place every September on the third Saturday.
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