DOT Teams Up With Local Airline to Fight Plastic in Siargao

Boracay, too.

(SPOT.ph) It's always fun to come up with your travel goals at the beginning of the year, and it's even better once you get to tick your dream vacations off your list. We wouldn't be surprised to see even more people flying to the island of Siargao this year, for one thing. And in an effort to keep tourism sustainable, Cebu Pacific Air, together with the Department of Tourism, has been ramping up their Juan Effect program to mitigate the impact of tourist arrivals and preserve the island's beauty.

PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

"Since we launched 'Juan Effect' in August 2018, we have been working with the local government units in Siargao and the province of Surigao Del Norte to spur concerted action to properly manage the ever-increasing visitor numbers, ease the negative impact of tourism on the island, and balance the social and environmental concerns with its economic benefits," says Candice Iyog of Cebu Pacific.

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This month, bins for plastic bottles were placed at key areas in the island, and the collected bottles will be recycled and made into eco-bricks. Since the launch of the initiative, Cebu Pacific has also been using eco-friendly utensils for their in-flight catering services, swapping plastic utensils with bio-compostable cutlery, biodegradable paper cups, and wooden coffee stirrers .

They've been gradually rolling out their programs in Siargao and Boracay since August 2018. To promote proper waste management, the airline, together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) donated trash bins for use on the island. (Fun fact: The trash bins are made from upcyled plastic!)

So far, the Juan Effect program has been having a positive effect on Siargao. Several of its municipalities have implemented policies on waste reduction, encouraging both locals and tourists alike to be mindful of single-use plastics. Murals and signs have also been put up around the island, reminding locals and tourists alike to always be environmentally responsible.

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