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USAID awards grants to five groups working on ocean plastics

THE US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $890,000 worth of grants to five groups in the Philippines trying to find solutions to ocean plastics pollution, the US Embassy said in a statement Thursday.

USAID tapped its Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program for the funds, CCBO was launched in the Philippines in August 2019.

“The program targets plastics directly at their source, in cities and towns in rapidly urbanizing areas around the globe,” according to the CCBO web page. The program had called for proposals for local initiatives focused on reducing, reusing and recycling, and enhancing solid waste management efforts.

The five awardees are the Communities Organized for Resource Allocation for a project in Parañaque; Catholic Relief Services for a project in Manila; Green Antz Builders, Inc. for a project in Pasig, The Plastics Credit Exchange for a project in Manila, and Project Zacchaeus, operating out of Puerto Princesa.

CCBO is currently supporting live projects in three sites, mainly on solid waste management.

“The United States is a committed ally and partner of the Filipino people in protecting the country’s rich marine ecosystems and resources for the benefit of present and future generations,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John C. Law was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to a 2015 study by nonprofit Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey and Co., the Philippines has generated some 2.7 million tons of plastic waste, with 20% ending up in the ocean. — Angelica Y. Yang

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