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Earth Hour to create greater awareness on the dangers of single-use plastic

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By Ellalyn De Vera Ruiz

Make your efforts count for nature and biodiversity, as the country celebrates the 12th Earth Hour switch-off event this Saturday.

Cyclists stop in front of a globe at a mall after the lights are switched off for the Earth Hour environmental campaign in Manila on March 25, 2017. (AFP FILE PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cyclists stop in front of a globe at a mall after the lights are switched off for the Earth Hour environmental campaign in Manila on March 25, 2017. (AFP FILE PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Local Earth Hour organizer World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) is anchoring this year’s celebration on single-use plastics, one of the biggest threats to biodiversity.

It seeks to leverage on the momentum of #AyokoNgPlastik movement to further create awareness on the dangers of single-use plastics, change mindsets and habits of consumers, urge businesses to operate more sustainably, and influence policy.

WWF-Philippines believes that this year’s Earth Hour celebration is the best way to send out a clear message to take a stand against plastic pollution and gain support for legislations on plastic waste management.

“The Philippines is the 3rd major plastic polluter of oceans in the world and us, Filipinos, must unite and create concrete steps to stop this worsening situation,” WWF-Philippines president and CEO Joel Palma said.

“We have to realize how nature is vitally important in our daily lives and preventing single-use plastics from entering nature is a big step towards a greener, more sustainable planet,” he added.

When #Connect2Earth was launched last year, about 17,900 landmarks and monuments in over 180 countries and territories switched off their lights to show their commitment to and support for raising awareness and inspiring action on conserving nature and biodiversity.

“The last decade of Earth Hour has contributed so much to the global climate agenda and has paved the way for many conservation wins,” WWF-Philippines head of climate and energy program and Earth Hour Pilipinas national director Gia Ibay said.

“Now that we are ushering in the second year of the movement’s new decade, our efforts will still be centered on raising awareness and inspiring action on conserving nature and biodiversity to counter the worsening impacts of climate change,” she added.

The main switch-off event of Earth Hour 2019 is slated on March 30, Saturday, at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds in Makati City from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the actual switch-off at 8:30 p.m.

Everyone from all over the Philippines is also encouraged to switch off non-essential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in solidarity with millions around the world who will do the same.

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