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Earth Hour focuses on plastics

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A PHOTO of SM Marilao’s Earth Hour celebration last year.

PULLING the plug when devices are not in use, avoiding the use of disposable utensils, and recycling and upcycling materials are only a few of the many ways to practice sustainable living.

The World Wide Fund (WWF) Philippines continues to celebrate Earth Hour this year with the theme #Connect2Earth which was first launched in 2018 and brings to focus the issue of single-use plastics.

In a report released by Greenpeace in 2017, the Philippines was named as the third-biggest plastic polluter of oceans after China and Indonesia.

According to the WWF-Philippines website, “Single-use plastics (SUPs), which are used on an average of seven minutes, take more than 100 years to decompose. Worse, they break up into smaller pieces called microplastic. These can be ingested by fish, and make it up the food chain to humans.

“The culture of disposables is difficult. There is no value. It is cheap and so easy to throw away,” WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma told BusinessWorld shortly after a press conference on Feb. 28 in Discovery Suites in Ortigas.

WWF-Philippines hopes to create further awareness on the dangers of single-use plastics with the #AyokoNgPlastik movement which is adapted from WWF’s “No Plastics in Nature” initiative, and WWF-Philippines believes that Earth Hour 2019 can help send the message for others to act upon plastic pollution and mobilizing future legislations on plastic waste management.




As part of the movement, Gia Ibay, Earth Hour Philippines national director, noted that WWF-Philippines is currently working with different institutions, organizations, and LGUs in their efforts to educate the public about the reduction of plastic waste and resource conservation.

THE SWITCH OFF
Introduced in Australia in 2007, Earth Hour is the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment.

Now on its 12th year, Earth Hour 2019 will hold its main switch-off event on March 30 at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds in Makati from 5 to 10 p.m., with the actual switch-off at 8:30 p.m. The public event will include booths, activities, and live performances. Households are encouraged to switch off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. in solidarity with millions around the world.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/EarthHourPH2019 and facebook.com/groups/ayokongplastik.

Aside from the main switch off, there will be Earth Hour celebrations in a number of establishments in the country including:

• City of Dreams Manila, which, in partnership with Bantay Kalikasan, will hold a program dubbed “A Walk to Save the Earth” on March 30 where Sustainability Ambassadors and around 200 employees and a contingent from Bantay Kalikasan will hold a symbolic walk at 8 p.m. around the property. This will be followed by the ceremonial switch off of the lights in its dome.

• SM malls across the country will take part in the symbolic hour-long lights off on March 30. Participating SM malls will come up with their own creative executions and programs in raising awareness about climate change and in getting the community to participate in a collective effort to care for the environment.

• Robinsons Malls shall be switching off their lights on March 30, at 8:30 p.m. Various malls will be marking the event by engaging their patrons in various Earth Hour activities and parties. Check out the pre-event affairs and other Earth Hour festivities by following Robinsons Malls at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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