Cebu consortium leads zero waste campaign

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – Environment protection being a main thrust of its foundation, Cebu-based The Islands Group recently led coastal and underwater clean-up dubbed “Zero Waste in Seas” on the shores of Barangay Mactan in this city.

According to Chai Apale, The Islands Groups Executive Officer for Corporate Social Projects, their green program is in line with the goals and mission of the International Coastal Clean-up activity held every September, designated coastal clean-up month.

Apale bared that the activity, which is also in partnership with other environment-conscious establishments, including Bigfoot Studios Inc, ScubaDen, Aquadive Inc, Cebu Ocean Care, Hilton Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, Albert Schweizer Foundation and some local volunteers, was able to gather more than 200 participants. The latter collected a total of 630 kilos of waste in a span of 45 minutes covering an area of one hectare.

She added that true to its campaign of promoting and supporting environment protection activities, The Islands Group, with its subsidiaries Islands Souvenirs Inc., Islands Banca Cruises, Islands & More, and Islands Pasalubong Center along with volunteers, used recycle trash bags and wooden tongs to gather waste strewn on the shoreline of Mactan Island.

The underwater and coastal clean-up were done simultaneously to gather wastes and waste disposal done in the proper manner. An environmental orientation was conducted before the clean-up activity. Topics on biodiversity, the negative impacts of garbage on the marine ecosystem and the importance of clean-up drives were discussed.

A statement distributed by The Islands Group, said world-renowned marine scientists have learned that the Philippines has one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on the planet. Thousands of reef fishes and coral species, a wide range of marine invertebrates and vertebrates’ genus, and different kinds of flora families can be found in the seas of the country.

However, studies revealed that only five percent of the 27,000-square-kilometer of the coral reefs in the country is considered to be in excellent condition. The declining health status of the marine ecosystem is attributed to anthropogenic issues such as unsustainable ways of disposing waste.