How do you even begin to push a radical recycling agenda in a town accustomed to throwing litter on the floor or in the waterways — within the Philippines, a country that is considered one of worst ocean polluters in the world?
You’d do well to start off by contacting Froilan Grate, President of charity Madre Tierra. In the space of six years Grate, working closely with Regina Rodriguez, head of Environment at San Fernando’s local government in the Philippines, managed to improve the recycling rate from 12% to an impressive 80%.
More than 100 recycling points were set up in schools and local neighbourhoods, and the local government was convinced to invest in education campaigns and short-term cleanup programmes.
“There are key aspects. The first is political will,” he explained to newspaper La Nacion. “Everyone, from the mayor to city officials, has to want to make change. And it’s also fundamental to involve neighbours. You have to empower people in order for them to participate.”
Grate is also Executive Director of GAIA Philippines, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and was a training director at the Center for Environmental Awareness and Education.Tags: Philippines, recycling