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Quest towards a plastic free PH

Julien Marie Piñero

The advocate behind the campaign Plastic Free Philippines conducted a workshop about plastic pollution last Sept. 3 at the American Studies Resource Center.

Plastic Free Philippines is an environmental campaign that aims to reduce the trashes particularly the plastics that floats in the ocean.

Anna Dawson initiated the Plastic Free Philippines campaign. She is a citizen from New Zealand, who worked as a civil engineer in Davao in 2008.

According to Dawson, “Plastic pollution isn’t going anywhere, unless we do something about it.”

In 2014, together with her husband, they traveled through a yacht from New Zealand to the Philippines stopping from the remote islands Tonga, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Marshall Islands. During their travel, Dawson discovered the extreme plastic pollution.

In 2015, when she became a mother, she said, “I wanted Josh to experience the beauty of the oceans, and he can’t do it if the plastic pollution will continue.”

With these reasons, she was triggered to start the campaign against reducing plastic.

Dawson chose the Philippines as a place to start her campaign because there is a bigger population here in the Philippines than in her home country. According to her, the impact would be bigger.

The campaign Plastic Free Philippines started a month ago.

At the moment, Plastic Free Philippines has no physical office but Dawson said that people can follow the journey through liking their Facebook page Plastic Free Philippines and visit their website plasticfreephilippines.com.

Dawson said that this is the first step in fulfilling her dream for the country. She aims to make Plastic Free Philippines into an official NGO.

For now, Dawson have connected and talked with several environment organizations such as Convergence Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation and Eco-Waste Coalition.

The workshop was attended by Sillimanians and members from the Marine Conservation Philippines.

Prior to the workshop, the group had a beach clean-up in the coast of Silliman beach.

In the next 3 months, Dawson will be cycling 2000 km with a bike made from bamboo (bambike) along the Philippine coast and conduct a lecture in elementary schools. She will also connect with the locals and organize clean-up drive.

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