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IPFS News Link • Philippines

Philippine Village Simultaneously Cleans Up Its Streets and Feeds the Hungry...

• By McKinley Corbley

A simple, yet brilliant new community program in the Philippines is simultaneously tackling two of the village's most serious issues: hunger and the debilitating amount of plastic waste on the streets.

Despite how one kilogram of rice only costs about 70 cents, the costs can be a financial burden for the many villagers living in Bayanan who are below the poverty line. That's why the village leaders launched a program which offers 1 kilogram of rice in exchange for 2 kilograms of plastic waste.

Reports say that the Southeast Asian country is among one of the world's top contributors of marine pollution, secondary only to Indonesia and China. According to a 2015 study from the Ocean Conservancy, the country generates more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, 20% of which leaks into the oceans.

"The Philippine government has adopted a number of laws needed to help mitigate solid waste," said the organization. "The problem is these laws and product bans don't work well if community members don't understand the consequences of their actions or know why these policies were designed."