Plastic Recovery and Recycling for Clean Coasts Project stakeholders gathered together for a culminating activity at Marand Resort in Bauang, La Union, on March 31, 2023. The culminating activity, which was the last activity of the project, allowed the Technical Working Group members and the Barangay Local Government Units beneficiaries to share the insights they had gained throughout the project.
According to Ms. Tina Antonio, chairperson of the Project Technical Working Group, "We cannot teach them solid waste management through Excel, tables, or graphs; through this project, we have seen that working together and directly directing the efforts to the grassroots work."
Through these words, Mr. Celso Jucutan, DMMMSU Coordinator for Environmental Management, also encouraged the participants. "As stakeholders, we are not encouraged, but we are mandated. We are responsible for protecting and saving the only planet we have today. With the efforts of the projects on the clean coasts, hopefully, we will sustain the activities. We do not want La Union to be an example of why the Philippines is dirty. We do not want La Union to be an example of a linear economy only. We want La Union to have a solution to pollution; we want a picture of La Union that is clean, tourist-friendly, and sustainable, and with your support, we can attain all these."
The culminating activity also served as an opportunity to recognize the efforts and counterparts provided by the Technical Working Group for their contribution to the project. They received a plaque of recognition, and representatives from government agencies, academe, the private sector, and CSOs received a certificate of commendation.
As the project came to a close, the stakeholders felt a sense of accomplishment and they are looking forward to the continuation of the project as three barangays signed their deed of donation for eco-enterprise equipment so they could carry on with their solid waste management initiatives.
Not only in La Union, but plastic pollution continues to be a pressing concern; through the Plastic Recovery and Recycling for Clean Coast project, we have taken a step towards freeing our oceans from plastic and brought awareness on plastic wastes that hopefully will resonate to a wider community.