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Dumaguetenos Eradicates Plastic for a Zero Waste Dumaguete City

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The moment I took my first few steps in this City of Gentle People, I was in awe on how beautiful this town is. The beautiful variety of colors being reflected on the sea surface from the establishments around boulevard made me feel like I was in Venice, Italy. Dumaguete captured my heart right then, and there as I was standing by the boulevard with my luggage ready to start a new chapter of my life in an unfamiliar-mesmerizing-small town with the gentle people. Time went by, and I got to see the different sides of this town, both positive, and even the areas where it needs immediate improvement. I got the chance to visit and see for myself personally the dumpsite in Candau-ay which is overflowing with garbage that poses large threat to the well-being of humans. Therefore, I believe that Dumaguete City should eradicate plastic and non-biodegradable products for it hinders the city from achieving its zero-waste goal, it causes harmful effects to the well- being of the people and poses alarming harmful threats to marine life.

First, what is Zero waste?

According to Aprille Juanillo, School coordinator for Camp Sewi and the Association of Young Environmental Journalists of Silliman University, “Zero waste doesn’t necessarily mean no plastic, nor does it convey no “trash” at all. Zero waste means to excess; nothing used, nothing made in excess.” We must practice zero waste as much as possible with whatever we do because it badly needed by environment; and one way to do that is to eradicate plastic and non-biodegradable materials which is one of the most harmful products in its entire life cycle. From production, the amount of energy, resources use, and carbon footprint emitted is relatively high (Juanillo, 2018).

According to the data from the 2015 study “Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean shows that the Philippines wastes 6,237,653 kg (6875.84 tons) of plastic per day” (United Nations Environment Programme, 2018), of which 81% is mismanaged (Tantiangco, 2018). This means Dumaguete is part of this too, and if we stand firm and continue achieving a zero waste Dumaguete City then surely this will help not just our country, Philippines, but also the world where we are all part of. Recently, barangay Lo-oc, Bantayan, and Piapi of Dumaguete City under their respective punong barangay already started to implement the Zero Waste program. These activities are all in accordance to the Zero Waste Cities Project Dumaguete spearheaded by Merci Ferrer. This is just the start towards having a Zero Waste city. Committing deeds that involves use of plastic and non-biodegradable products hinders the city from achieving its zero-waste goal. Activities such as using of plastic straws when you can opt for a metal straw or no cup lid at all with your drinks, constant purchase of plastic bottles instead of just bringing your own water bottle, and as simple as not bringing an eco-bag when doing grocery are things that hinders us from achieving a zero-waste lifestyle to help cure our dying environment. In line with this, if we continue to use and patronage plastics and non-biodegradable products then zero-waste Dumaguete won’t be experienced by any of us soon.

Second, marine life isn’t the only at stake due to plastic and non-biodegradable products; we, humans, are also at a high risk. According to a study on plastic as persistent marine pollutant, new evidence has been found that “indicates a complex toxicology of plastic micro- and nanoparticles on marine life”, and shifts up the food chain, which also reaches us, humans. (Worm, B., Lotze, H. K., Jubinville, I., Wilcox, C., & Jambeck, J., 2017). The micro-plastics in fish will affect the chemical balance of the body (primarily acting as “pseudo” estrogen), and cause adverse effect such as cancer (Juanillo, 2018).

Third, choosing not to eradicate plastic and non-biodegradable products poses harmful threats to marine life. For if we ban these things, “it would lessen the amount of debris that ends up in our coastlines that hinder marine species growth and lesser debris that gets eaten by these marine animals” (Esolona, 2018). Marine creatures are dying due to intake of plastic. Plastic that we, humans, have thrown it out there with our own hands and irresponsibility. Rampant, and recent news on marine creatures like whales, turtles, dolphins, etc. are proving this true.

According to a study in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the waters if this goes on. If we allow this to keep happening without us doing anything to cure it. In our modern times, plastic has also been very useful in our day-to-day lives. It has made our lives a little bit better towards carrying the things we bought. It is also very cheap which makes it more accessible for us. The benefits that plastic brings to the table of the world of technology and medical towards advancement is clearly seen and can be felt. (Thompson, R. C., Moore, C. J., Vom Saal, F. S., & Swan, S. H., 2009). Plastics are very versatile which is ideal as a bag to contain goods, but the benefit it has does not outweigh the bad effects it brings to the environment and people.

To what extent should these two be banned?

To the extent that we would be able to create alternatives to the usual non-biodegradable products we have grown accustomed to. “By using these alternatives, we can alleviate the problems of waste segregation and achieve a zero-waste environment” (Alforque, 2018). Plastic and other non-biodegradable products have been destroying us because we allowed them. “The road to being zero-waste is going to be difficult, that’s for sure. But it’s not impossible. Not at all” (Juanillo, 2018). It all boils down too to self-discipline on making all these actions towards having a zero-waste city possible. After all, zero-waste is not just possible. It is already happening. That is why Dumaguete City should eradicate plastic and non-biodegradable products for it hinders the city from achieving its zero-waste goal, it causes harmful effects to the well- being of the people and poses alarming harmful threats to marine life.

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Dumaguetenos Eradicates Plastic for a Zero Waste Dumaguete City. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from
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