THE Philippines has again taken the global center stage but on a negative note as three of its rivers were found to have contributed the biggest volume of plastic wastes eventually leading to the ocean.
According to “The Ocean Cleanup,” Pasig River, which accounts for 6.4 percent of the total volume of plastic wastes found in the ocean, topped the list.
At the second spot is the Tullahan River in Muntinlupa City which accounts for 1.2 percent of the total volume of plastic waste found in the ocean. Likewise part of the top 10 is the Meycauayan River in Bulacan Province.
All three Philippine rivers have been named the worst plastic-emitting rivers in the world as per study conducted by the organization Ocean Cleanup.
The same study hinted at the Pasig River as the most polluting river in the world. The study, which took place between 2017 and 2020, examined over 1,600 rivers around the world that contribute 80 percent of total plastic pollution in the ocean.
The Philippines overall contributed the most amount of pollution from its rivers to the oceans at a rate of 3.3 kilograms of plastic per capita per year. Other top countries contributing riverine (from rivers) plastic emissions are India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Brazil, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Thailand.
These Asian countries collectively account for 81 percent of all ocean pollution coming from rivers. Africa contributes only eight percent of plastic emissions. Europe contributed only 0.6 percent.
According to the Ocean Cleanup, factors which have been significantly contributing to the environmental predicament are poor waste management systems, population density along rivers, and the economic performance of the nations that control these rivers.
Interestingly, the government has been spending billions in the rehabilitation of the Pasig River alone. However efforts proved short amid programs cut short every time there was a change in the administration.
To date, San Miguel Corporation is leading the charge to rehabilitate both Pasig River and Tullahan River. The conglomerate has not only been removing 600 tons of plastic and waste from these rivers each day, it also plans to deepen the river to improve water flow and help address flooding.