Beauty queen appeals: ‘Stop using plastic’
A FORENSIC anthropologist from Aklan will represent the Philippines in the 8th Miss Scuba International pageant which will be held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, as she steps up her campaign to discourage the public to use plastic, one of the major irritants in marine preservation.
“Right now, the Philippines is the third largest contributor of plastic in the ocean. So we’re really trying to get out of the top 3 zone. At the same time, the Philippines is blessed with a lot of beautiful ocean and seas but we are not taking care of it as we should,” says Noelle Fuentes Uy-Tuazon, during her exclusive press send-off, Sunday. The finals will be held on Nov. 17.
In a recent report, Ocean Conservancy claims that China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are spewing out as much as 60 percent of the plastic waste that enters the world’s seas.
“At this rate, we would expect nearly one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in our oceans by 2025 – an unthinkable number with drastic economic and environmental consequences,” says Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s marine debris program.
In the Philippines, to counter this growing dump in the ocean, Miss Scuba Philippines National Director Cindy Madduma and her team have joined efforts to talk to restaurant owners nationwide to stop using plastic straws. “A reusable metal straw is a good substitute if they really need to use straws.” Tuazon, 26, says: “The good thing about Miss Scuba Philippines is that you have a group of amazing women who are taking on the responsibility relating to marine conservation. We are also trying to raise awareness in our country about the situation. We are also trying to strengthen the move by partnering with local government units. When Boracay reopened, we conducted coral reef assessment, clean-up and created campaigns that targeted not only the youth but government officials.”
“We were once the promising country. We have all the natural resources, we have everything. We just need to utilize it. We need good leaders. We need good mentors, advisors who love our country and want to help the Philippines,” the beauty queen says.
NOELLE Fuentes Uy-Tuazon