MANILA — The U.S. government awarded two grants totaling Php20 million to local organizations for projects to reduce plastic pollution Philippine oceans.
The grants will promote and expand community-based recycling programs, improve solid waste management, and support research on plastic waste around Manila Bay.
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission John Law and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda presented the grants, joined by DENR Undersecretary Miguel Cuna.
“These partnerships are critical to protecting urban coastal areas that rely on tourism and fisheries sectors,” said Law. “We are proud to work together with the Philippines in finding innovative solutions to keeping plastic waste out of our oceans.”
Local organizations Ecological Waste Coalition of the Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation will implement the grants. Both projects will support the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
The grants are part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Municipal Waste Recycling Program, which supports solid waste management and water recycling efforts by local and national governments, civil society organizations, and academic institutions in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
According an article in the February 2015 issue of Science magazine, eight million tons of mismanaged plastic wastes are deposited in the world’s oceans each year. This waste threatens marine ecosystems and human health as it makes its way into the global human food supply, mostly through fish products.