ON August 7, 2018, a dead whale shark washed ashore at Sitio Cabugan, Barangay Busaon, Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
A necropsy examination led by D'Bone Museum owner and curator Darrell Blatchley showed that the whale shark died due to toxic waste stuck in its stomach and gills. They discovered jelly wrappers in the gills and plastic cups and two resealable plastic sandwich bags were found in its stomach.
This is not the first time a large marine creature died due to plastic trash that they took in their bodies either by accident or thinking it was prey.
We have heard and read numerous stories or saw photos of animals being affected by the trash, mostly plastic, that we intentionally or unintentionally throw around.
While plastic has been a convenient item that we use on a daily basis -- a bag for carrying items or a disposal cup for drinking -- we have to understand and face reality that our depedency on this is already affecting the environment.
Environmental groups and eco-warriors have been campaigning for years to reduce the use of plastics. Among the innovations they have been promoting are the use of metal or bamboo straws, use of reusable bags, and bringing your own reusable water bottles.
However, it is also a reality that until something as durable and useful as plastic comes a long, it is still a far reality that we will stop our total dependency on plastic.
What we can do right now to help the environment is changing the ways we use plastic; find alternatives to the disposable plastic items that we regularly use.
It is great to know that there are institutions that are doing their part in waste reduction like Marco Polo Hotel Davao that is using bamboo straws for their drinks or the City Government of Davao banning the use of disposable plastic items in their meetings, conference, and other activities.
Though it may seem that we are doing a simple action by reducing the trash we produce, if there are a lot of us who are doing this then we are somehow doing our part in conserving the environment.
Lessen your dependency on plastic, help the environment.