Deep dive into plastic menace

This photo of a crab stuck in plastic was taken last week in the Verde Island Passage, Batangas City, Philippines, and made available by Greenpeace.

In an underwater exploration conducted by Greenpeace in Batangas, single-use plastic sachets were found between, beneath and on the corals and seabed of the marine corridor that separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro.

While the Philippines has the highest percentage of marine biodiversity in the world, unfortunately, plastic pollution is also a major problem there.

According to data from non-governmental organisation Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (Gaia), Filipinos dispose of 163 million pieces of single-use plastic sachets, 48 million shopping bags and 45 million thin film bags daily.

The Verde Island Passage is regarded as the epicentre of marine biodiversity in the world, and is of great global biological significance to the scientific community.

More than 1,000 marine life species can be found there, home to species such as whale sharks, sea turtles, nudibranchs and an impressive array of corals.

The Gaia report, released last week, is part of an effort to collect data on plastic consumption as environmentalists push for government action to reduce plastic waste.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'Deep dive into plastic menace'. Print Edition | Subscribe