Samal Island, San Isidro town vow to eliminate plastic pollution by 2030

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 Nov) – The Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) and San Isidro, Davao Oriental will partner with the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) to eliminate plastic pollution by 2030.

Czarina Constantino, project manager of WWF-Philippines’ Plastic Smart Cities Project (PSC), said in an email to MindaNews on Sunday that the international non-profit organization will formalize its partnership with the local government units (LGU) in a signing ceremony slated for December 2 with Igacos and December 3 with San Isidro town.

The PSC is a “global movement to push cities and tourism destinations that are fighting plastic pollution.” It is implemented under WWF No Plastics in Nature initiative that aims to stop plastic waste leakage into the oceans in 2030.

Under this movement, Constantino said the WWF-Philippines will work with IGACOS in residual processing, implementation of its Environmental Code of 2018, and waste management with the stakeholders of the tourism sector there.

She said the island has implemented “a great work in segregation, collection, and diversion by strictly enforcing a no segregation, no collection” policy.

The policy makes it easy for the island to manage their garbage, Constantino said, noting that biodegradables are used for composting, the recyclables are either brought to the junk shops or are upcycled for the beautification program, and the residuals are brought to the sanitary landfill.

She added that the LGU is planning to convert the residual wastes into chairs and paver blocks for their planned eco-park.

The WWF-Philippines will work with the city to “assess and implement the best option for residuals processing,” she said.

Constantino said her group will also provide Samal Island with technical guidance for the potential revisions of its environment code, and supporting its implementation.

She believed that engaging the stakeholders, including the divers, resorts, and tourists, is crucial for the success of the island’s waste management program.

“We believe that this is critical as IGACOS is a booming tourism destination,” she added.

On the partnership with San Isidro town, Constantino added that WWF-Philippines will provide technical guidance “in the creation of a Science-based single-use plastic ban policy.”

She added that they will also support the “Dili Na Ko Plastik” (I am against plastic)  livelihood program, which aims to engage coastal communities by helping them generate additional income through recycling and mangrove propagation.

“The Plastic Smart Cities project is currently working in Davao Gulf – the 10th most productive fishing ground in the Philippines – specifically in Davao City, IGACOS, Digos City, Sta. Cruz, Tagum City, San Isidro, and Lupon. We are also expanding to cities and tourist destinations in Manila, Donsol in Sorsogon, and Palawan,” she said.

Under the project, she said partner cities and municipalities have committed at least 30 percent waste diversion through increased collection and segregation, recycling, reduction of plastic waste, and landfill management.