USAID grants P42-M to projects on solving ocean plastics pollution

Published January 14, 2021, 3:00 PM

by Hanah Tabios

The United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program, has awarded grants worth around P42 million ($890,000) to five organizations in support of local solutions that address ocean plastics pollution.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law, USAID Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II, Puerto Princesa City Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates, Manila Department of Public Services Head Kenneth Amurao, Pasig City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Allen Angeles, Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) Chief of Party Jon Angin, and CCBO Moderator and Grants Manager Amy Kirk at the virtual CCBO program launch and grant award ceremony on January 14. (US EMBASSY IN THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN)

USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program is a five-year, $48 million program that works globally to target plastic pollution originating in, and perpetuated by, rapidly urbanizing areas in low- and middle-income countries.

According to a 2015 McKinsey and Company study, a staggering 2.7 million tons of plastic are generated in the Philippines each year, 20 percent of which is estimated to end up in the ocean.

Through these grants, USAID will partner with local and international organizations to test new models to increase recycling rates, reduce landfill waste and leakage into nearby waters, and improve community livelihoods to help build sustainable waste systems.

“The United States is a committed ally and partner of the Filipino people in protecting the country’s rich marine ecosystems and resources for the benefit of present and future generations,” U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said.

The first wave of grants will pilot solutions to stop the flow of plastic pollution to the waters within and surrounding the Philippines.

Program grantees are: Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA) for its project in Parañaque City; Catholic Relief Services for its Manila City project; Green Antz Builders, Inc. for a project in Pasig City; The Plastics Credit Exchange for its project operating in the City of Manila; and Project Zacchaeus, undertaking an effort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

“We look forward to a lasting partnership with USAID toward achieving sustainable goals that highlight the health and welfare of the environment and local citizens,” Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said.

The USAID CCBO program is working in several countries around the world. In late 2019 it launched its effort in the Philippines, where it aims to support the national government in advancing solid waste management.