Plastic-Free Event For A Cleaner Siargao

The 24th International Mens Surfing Cup (WSL QS 3000) and the 2nd Philippine Surfing Championship Tour are right around the corner, and we all know what this means – more people equals more trash. And while Siargao has gained more popularity in the recent years, apparently the island isn’t capable of keeping up with the increasing amount of trash that’s hurting its crystal blue waters as well as the people living on the island.

In the hopes of eliminating single-use plastics and inspired by the 2018 Vissla Sydney Pro in Manly, Australia; PSCT, Baranggay Catangnan, LGU of Gen. Luna, Siargao Environmental Awareness Movement (SEA Movement) and Kudo Surf have teamed up and will strictly push for a plastic-free event this year. Therefore, single-use plastics like water bottles and plastic bags will be banned in the competition area for the Siargao leg. Water refilling stations will also be provided by Very Good Ice so people will be urged to bring reusable bottles. These are on top of the daily beach clean-ups that will be done every afternoon from participating NGOs as well.

Last year’s WSL eco-banners were turned into ecobags by Masagana Women, a sustainable livelihood project by SEA Movement and its sister org HER Planet Earth Singapore. It will be continued this year as PSCT are also donating their eco-banners to the project. Aside from eco bags, they will have more products down the line that will cultivate the weaving talents of the local women and reduce plastic pollution.

Visitors and participants are all equally looking forward to these yearly events on the beautiful Siargao island but only a few people take the initiative to protect the island by all means. That’s why these surf competitions are extremely important in spreading the advocacy of beating plastic pollution. Hopefully, we can all learn from surf events like these and opt for more nature-friendly alternatives. Let’s all give back to mother nature so we can infinitely enjoy surfing our favorite waves in clean oceans.

by Karen Faith

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