Pro-environment activists in the province of Pangasinan held a 13-kilometer “bike ride for the environment” on December 5 “to strengthen the call to ban single-use plastic and incineration.”
The activity, which was organized by the EcoWaste Coalition, also called for an end to offshore mining.
Bike Ride lead organizer Coleen Salamat said the recent COP26 summit has identified that plastic pollution is a major driver in the climate crisis.
“We urge our lawmakers from the local to the national level to include the people and the planet in their electoral agenda,” said Salamat in a statement.
In July, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 9147 or the “Single-use Plastic Products Regulation Act.” In the Senate, however, the “Single-Use Plastic Product Regulation Act of 2019” remains pending.
The activists also scored the number of Waste-to-Energy projects lined up in the province of Pangasinan, saying that incineration provides more problems than solutions.
“The process merely transforms the waste into other forms of trash, such as toxic ash and air and water pollution, which are harder to contain and usually more harmful than the original form of the waste,” read the group’s statement.
Another group, the Pangasinan People’s Strike for the Environment, meanwhile, expressed the groups’ indignation over offshore mining.
A proposed iron ore magnetite mining project in Lingayen Gulf covers the municipal waters of Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Binmaley, and city waters of Dagupan that covers a total area of 9,252.4506 hectares.
“The offshore mining project will directly impact coastal and marine resources, exacerbate climate and disaster risks, permanently alter natural ecosystems, and economically displace fisherfolk and communities,” said Eco Dangla, the group’s convenor.
Joaquin Alano of the Alano Biker’s Club said that “It’s always the local communities who are the receiving end of environmental destruction.”
“We say time’s up. We are here to show our solidarity to the call to end the toxic plastic pollution and to stop the offshore mining,” said Alano.
EcoWaste Coalition’s Salamat said the coming together of green groups in Pangasinan is “remarkable proof that the frontline communities are vital to defending the people and the planet against pollution, plastics, and profit.”
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