Environment groups urged the public to learn the safe and proper disposal of used face masks.
Nilad and Earth Island Institute-Asia Pacific conducted Monday its Day 2 of “Dampa Alert,” a week-long garbage pollution check on the coast of Manila Bay that will culminate during the International Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 19.
The groups have monitored trash pile in the waters at Daang Hari in Navotas and Baseco in Manila. These piles of trash include disposable face masks and bottles of alcohol and paint.
“The pandemic has worsened not just plastic pollution but also the improper disposal of waste. We must also teach not just the proper wearing of masks but also their safe disposal,” they pointed out.
“Our volunteers saw individuals swimming in the dirty waters of Manila Bay in Navotas and Baseco. Some are scavenging trash in the coast. They could face higher risk of contaminating COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) because of the used face masks in the dump,” they said.
The trash in Aplaya, Baseco, the groups said, highlighted the pollution problem in Manila Bay.
“Baseco Beach is presented in many State-sponsored social media pages as a rehabilitated part of Manila Bay yet our volunteer residents in Baseco have consistently showed that the coast of Baseco is still inundated with garbage,” they added.
The environment groups reminded the authorities about the urgent need to conduct a comprehensive cleanup of Manila Bay instead of pursuing beautification projects.
Dampa Alert is a volunteer-driven, community-based coastal monitoring initiative launched by environment groups Nilad and Earth Island Institute-Asia Pacific to check the status of garbage pollution in the Manila Bay areas of Metro Manila.