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Friday, June 14, 2024

Fostering sustainability through turtle bins

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Athena launches Pawi-CAN waste management project

Improper waste disposal has led to numerous problems for the environment such as the destruction of ecosystems, the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, the endangerment of marine life, and many more. Such occurrences have led to calls for sustainable efforts to mitigate the effects of damaging human practices on the environment.

As a way to do their own part and encourage people to join this noble endeavor, executive assistant firm Athena has launched the “Pawi-CAN Sustainability Project” in partnership with the local government of San Juan, La Union, San Juan Resort and Hotel Association Inc. (SJRHASS), and Dragon 8 last April 22.

“Even though we’re a small organization, we take pride that it is our priority to actually have a meaningful impact on the communities that we are part of… diba may saying na sinasabi na you should leave the earth, or the world rather, a better place than when you found it. That’s actually the objective of this activity,” said Athena Chief Marketing Officer Victoria Alcachupas.

Attendees of the event were guided by EcoSurf members for the coral-planting activity

The project entailed the installation of bins for collecting plastic waste that are placed in areas within Urbiztondo, San Juan Beach that are commonly flocked by tourists. The plastic waste collected from the turtle bins will be recycled.

Designed by La Union-based visual artist John Parmisano, the bins include a statue of a turtle made completely from sustainable materials such as recycled glass or bottles and bamboo. The structure took a total of three weeks to build.

Tina Antonio, a member of the SJRRHASS, said that the bins will be monitored for five months before being turned over to the Coastal Underwater Resource Management Actions (CURMA), a project aimed towards the conservation of sea turtles through educating people about how they may avoid plastic garbage as well as clean coastlines and prevent turtle nests from being handled by poachers.

From left: FEED Director for Partnerships Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker, Athena Chief Marketing Officer Victoria Alcachupas, Athena Director of Marketing Glenn Chua, and San Juan Municipal Environmental Officer and Environmental Scientist Riza Joy Abat

“After [five months] we will turn it over to them and then the San Juan Resort and Hotel Association will create many versions [of the] hatchlings [or] baby pawikan [bins] on the other establishments,” said Antonio.

Also serving as part of Athena’s project is a coral planting activity which was led by Fostering Education and Environment for Development Inc. (FEED) Director for Partnerships Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker.

Bakker is also from EcoSurf, a local environmental engagement program developed by FEED.

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