Updated: Aug 16
Written by: Charmaine Jao, Director of the Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation
The #breakfreefromplastic Brand Audit Report is now up! Check it out here. During the last week of September, the Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation joined 70,000 volunteers in over 50 countries to conduct a brand audit during our beach cleanup in Camara Island, located in Barangay Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales. Joining us was the winner of Miss Asia Pacific Malaysia 2019, Amanda Lee. She lives in Kuching, Sarawak and is very fond of the ocean as well as the environment.
Amanda was beautiful not only in appearance but where it mattered. She had visited us to support ICC Zambales in its clean up efforts and had helped us to pick up plastic trash and learned from us the importance of brand auditing. A more tedious but important aspect of any cleanup campaign. We had learned from her that Malaysia is also now experiencing a spike on the use of single-use plastic as food wrappers and personal care products. It is a pressing matter for both our countries, Malaysia and the Philippines and we both agree that not only should the manufacturers be aware and have a program on getting back and to possibly reuse or to up-cycle the plastic that they produce but, we the consumers must also know and understand the importance of proper disposal and the impediments we face if we do not.
Just like the International Coastal Cleanup that was celebrated every 3rd Saturday of September, it is important to get data on problem products and materials to empower the community and better understand the sources that contribute to plastic pollution so we can better intervene on solutions and also encourage responsible consumption as well as corporate accountability.
Camara Island was only 15 minutes by boat from the shores of Pundaquit. The island was breathtakingly beautiful. We had managed to have the whole island by ourselves after the loan boat we saw there had left. I was in awe of the island and how beautiful the landscape was.
After a few moments, after we had all taken in the miracle that is nature, we had all started looking for plastic to pick up and, later on, audit when we get back at the Lighthouse Marina Resort. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, we found quite a lot of plastic trash. We found a few items of fishing gear, some food wrappers and PET bottles and personal care products that the tide must have brought in. We had found plastic containers and wrappers as well as beer bottles that were obviously left by people that had camped there. I couldn’t help but get upset at the people who disrespect the beautiful ocean that abundantly provides us with food. These people should never be allowed to go to beautiful places and enjoy nature. Not until they learn how to care about nature, the ocean, and their environment.
BFFP Brand Audit done at the Lighthouse Marina Resort
Amanda is a good proponent, just like anyone of us can be, to educate and make people aware of this disrespect and the effects of plastic trash to our Oceans and our environment. She now helps us to spread the word in improving the condition of our oceans and the ill effects of improper plastic disposal. Just like Amanda, we do hope to call on all of you to help educate our nation, be part of The Lighthouse Legacy Foundation and The ICC campaign of Ocean Conservancy and be part of the Sea of Change.
Below are some photos of Amanda during their sailing activity in Subic Bay.