Scuba divers collect underwater garbage

SAN CARLOS. Professional scuba divers prepare for their dive to retrieve underwater garbage in Sipaway Island, San Carlos City. (Contributed Photo)

COLLECTIVELY called “Scubasurero,” 24 professional divers retrieved underwater garbage, mostly plastics, at Sipaway Island in San Carlos City.

This annual activity has been gathering underwater trash in the coasts of Negros Occidental since its inception in 2007.

This year, the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) partnered with the local government of San Carlos City through its City Environment Management Office (CEMO) and chose the Dapdap area and Sitio Caimito of Barangay San Juan in Sipaway Island as dive sites for the garbage collection.

After the almost two-hour activity, in both areas, divers collected 171 plastic beverage bottles, 176 glass beverage bottles, 15 beverage cans, 137 plastic food wrappers, 18 cups and lids, 15 clothes and shoes, 52 cups, plates and spoons, 13 fishing lines, one light bulb or tube, three tarpaulins and six tires.

PEMO head Wilfred Ramon Peñalosa, who also joined the divers, said this is an eye opener to change our lifestyle.

“There are even candy wrappers, chips and even bottles that date back in the 80’s and 90’s. So it is sending a message that really plastics do not decompose. It becomes smaller and smaller that fishes can pick up and eat,” he said.

He also commended the local government of San Carlos for strictly and religiously implementing the “Zero Plastic” ordinance.

“Just say no to single-use plastic,” he added.

Aside from the underwater clean-up, more than 500 participants, mostly employees of the Provincial Government, the local government of San Carlos and academe, crossed from the mainland to Sipaway Island to do coastal clean-up.

The “Scubasurero” and the coastal clean-up were culmination activities of the month-long Environment Month celebration with the theme, “#BeatPlasticPollution.” (PR)


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