A Vivid Representation of Plastic’s Impact
In honor of Plastic Free July, Greenpeace Philippines has embarked on an impactful journey, advocating for a robust Global Plastics Treaty to tackle the relentless plastic production by corporations. Their powerful Black and White Campaign showcases haunting images captured by esteemed photographers in the country, featuring lifeless sea animals washed ashore in eerie black and white tones.
These poignant visuals, however, hold a startling revelation – the carcasses are not real animals but life-size replicas created from used plastic, symbolizing the tragic fate of countless creatures due to plastic pollution.
A staggering 170 trillion plastic particles are now adrift in our oceans, choking marine ecosystems and infiltrating the food chain.
A Threat to All Life on Earth
The Black and White campaign unequivocally underscores that plastic pollution inflicts harm upon all living beings on our planet, humans and animals alike. As the campaign unfolds, it aims to shed light on the myriad impacts of the plastic life cycle, from production to waste, emphasizing that plastic poses equally serious threats to people.
Marian Ledesma, Campaigner at Greenpeace Philippines, emphasizes,
“Plastic pollution is more than just trash in our oceans. With plastic’s overproduction, humanity is at risk. Its impacts reach far and wide, posing a grave threat to biodiversity and our food system, while also harming people’s health, exacerbating social injustices, and fueling the climate crisis.
The Black and White campaign vividly illustrates the urgent need for a strong Global Plastics Treaty, transcending boundaries to protect our planet and all its inhabitants from the relentless impact of plastic pollution.”
The Ubiquity of Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution has infiltrated every corner of the globe. Microplastics, alarming in levels, have found their way into the food and water we consume and the air we breathe, even penetrating our organs and bloodstream. In the Philippines, recent studies have unveiled the presence of microplastics in the air of Metro Manila and in the waters of Laguna de Bay and Tañon Strait.
Additionally, plastic pollution disproportionately affects marginalized communities, such as fisherfolk grappling with damages to their fishing gear and the decline in fish stock, and urban poor communities facing the risk of plastic-induced flooding.
Corporations Fueling the Crisis
Despite the dire consequences of plastic pollution, corporations continue to escalate plastic production. A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reveals that global annual plastic production surged from 234 million tonnes in 2000 to a staggering 460 million tonnes in 2019, with projections indicating a tripling by 2060.
Shockingly, only 9% of all plastic has been recycled globally, yet corporations exploit recycling as an excuse to perpetuate a single-use model, prioritizing their interests over the well-being of communities and the environment.
A Major Contributor to the Climate Crisis
Plastic production also significantly contributes to the climate crisis, as 99% of plastics are derived from oil and gas. By 2030, annual greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could be on par with those produced by 295 500-MV coal plants annually (1.34 gigatons), with cumulative emissions projected to reach 56 gigatons by 2050.
A Call for Action
Greenpeace Philippines passionately calls for a strong and ambitious Global Plastics Treaty that will halt plastic pollution at its roots.
This treaty must encompass comprehensive measures, including eliminating plastic pollution from production to disposal, capping and phasing down plastic production, and ensuring a just and inclusive transition to a low-carbon, zero-waste, toxic-free, and reuse-based economy. Ledesma emphasizes,
“Most importantly, the treaty must advocate for a human rights-based approach, aiming to address the injustices experienced by people, the environment, and communities alike. World leaders must put a strong treaty in black and white.”
A Resounding Urgent Call
The Black and White Campaign stands as a powerful call to action, urging the realization of a strong and ambitious Global Plastics Treaty. It implores leaders to unite in a collective commitment to safeguard our planet and its inhabitants from the detrimental consequences of plastic pollution.
Through evocative visuals and compelling storytelling, Greenpeace Philippines seeks to inspire change, instilling hope for a sustainable future free from plastic’s grasp.