Why to join Greenpeace to fight plastic pollution?


Froilan Grate in Navotas. © Rouelle UmaliPlastic pollution might be very visible in the Philippines and other Asian countries, but the crisis started somewhere else. It began in the boardrooms of the top multinational companies when they decided to dump products packaged in single-use, non-recyclable plastic in places where there is no infrastructure to manage them.

GAIA Asia Pacific, together with Greenpeace and others, is a core member of the global Break Free From Plastic movement. Froilan Grate is the Executive Director of GAIA Asia Pacific based in the capital of Philippines, Manila.

Guimaras, the island where Froilan Grate grew up, is located in Central Philippines. It is blessed with turquoise water, white sandy beaches, sweet mangoes, and the warmest people on the planet.

When Froilan left the island 18 years ago for university in Manila, he was shocked to see Manila Bay – the water was almost black, and instead of colourful coral and fish, plastic waste was everywhere. Upon witnessing that, Froilan feared that the same could also happen to the island he called his home.

The determination to protect his home eventually led him to the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), the mission of which is to help communities implement zero waste programs. Through waste segregation, local composting and recycling, it became possible to reduce the waste by as much as 80%.

Cities and communities working on zero waste are showing that solutions are already happening. Froilan  calls to join them and demand that corporations move beyond empty promises to real concrete actions against plastic pollution crisis.  

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