THE carcass of another marine mammal found in Davao City last July 28, 2019, sends a chilling message not only to Dabawenyos but to all human beings on earth.

Although found here in the locality, it does not necessarily mean that the plastics the dead Pygmy Sperm Whale had ingested come from the city and used by Dabawenyos alone.

Its death only shows that our seas are already enveloped with plastic garbage that marine mammals often mistaken as food.

The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia (WWF-Australia), on its website, www.wwf.org.au/news, reported that there are around 100,000 marine mammals that die every year globally. And the dead Pygmy Sperm Whale found in the coastal road construction in Matina Aplaya is the fifth dead marine creature found in Davao City’s coastal area.

Plastics are not only harmful to marine mammals when ingested. They can also entangle and hurt them which may cause their death eventually.

The campaign of ending the usage and the patronization of plastic-made containers, utensils, furniture, etc. is easier said than done. There are other industries that may be affected when everyone else stops using and patronizing plastics.

Aside from that, there are also other products that plastics are better as their materials such as helmets, children’s safety seats, and automobiles’ airbags, among others.

But the issue is not anymore about the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing plastics in making a product. It’s all about the people’s improper plastic wastes’ disposal.

It’s good to note that Davao City strengthened its ordinance on proper waste segregation with City Ordinance 0361-10 or The Mandatory Segregation of the Solid Waste. It is implemented under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of 2009, which requires households/establishments to segregate wastes into biodegradable, recyclable and residual.

However, how many Dabawenyos follow this ordinance religiously, especially that no one mans every household whether they are following the Mandatory Segregation of the Solid Waste law of Davao City?

It is also good to note that a homegrown firm, the Winder Recycling Company, is into recycling business, as this may help Dabawenyos in reducing their disposal of plastic wastes.

However, all of these will be useless: the ordinance on Proper Waste Segregation and the Recycling firm just within our reach, if Dabawenyos themselves don’t do their part of segregating their garbage and properly disposing their plastic wastes.

How many dead marine creatures would we want to discover in our vicinity before we act, disposing our plastic wastes properly? Here’s hoping that the fifth found dead Pygmy Sperm Whale is the last dead marine mammal killed by plastic wastes found not just in Davao City but in other parts of the world.