The Philippines uses a lot of plastic. And by “a lot of plastic,” I mean a lot of plastic.

It’s everywhere. You can see plastic debris along roads, in giant piles on empty lots, and as plastic islands in rivers.

Every day, most of the 100 million Filipinos buy food from local eateries. The food is placed in little plastic bags. Drinks are poured into plastic bags and served with, you guessed it, plastic straws. Food is eaten with plastic utensils or with hands, covered in plastic bags. Ubiquitous sari-sari convenience stores sell almost everything in plastic sachets or plastic bags. The big stores? Almost everything seems to have plastic packaging.

Plastic. Plastic. Plastic.

But, I’m doing my small part. I go to an eatery for breakfast and lunch, but I bring Tupperware and wave off the excess plastic. I also have a cold water machine that dispenses plastic bags, but will no longer be refilled. I will have a sign up over the dispenser advising patrons to bring their own, reusable cups. And, I choose non-plastic packaging over plastic packaging. That’s definitely not easy here, but every little bit is something.

I’m just getting started….

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