Cebu ‘breaks free from plastic’ onboard the Rainbow Warrior

Press release - March 13, 2019
Cebu City, 13 March 2019. - Officials from the provincial government, city government, other local government units and civil society leaders from all over Cebu today gathered onboard the Rainbow Warrior to sign a declaration aiming for the Province to become 100% plastic-free and leading other regions in the Visayas to break free from single-use plastic.

Led by the Provincial Government of Cebu, the government officials and civil society leaders signed the document aboard the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, which is visiting the Queen City of the South as the second stop of its global "Ship It Back" campaign tour.

"We welcome this initiative from the Cebuano people and have faith in their resolve and ability to lead Visayas into a plastic-free future. We really need everyone's commitment and cooperation if we're to stop plastic, a growing monster that's threatening our waterways, our lands and our communities," said Abigail Aguilar, Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines.

The Declaration for a Cebu Free of Single-Use Plastic commits their LGUS to create and implement measures to reduce and eventually ban single-use plastics, undertake information and education campaigns on the hazards of plastics, promote zero-waste practices, and support efforts towards replacing single-use with better delivery methods such as reuse and refill systems for businesses.

"The Declaration moves us in the right direction. We see all the efforts of citizens and governments to clean up after all these single-use packaging unrelentingly being produced by fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies [1], but these are not enough. Corporations, which are making a lot of money from sales of their products, need to do their part and invest back into alternative delivery systems. We need to stop plastic at its source," said Beau Baconguis, regional coordinator for the Break Free From Plastic movement.[2]

Notes to Editors:

The text of the Declaration is attached

[1] FMCG includes any product with a short shelf life and typically relatively low cost, such as soft drinks, food or toiletries. They are typically sold at very high volumes, with a high turnover of the product.

[2] Greenpeace, as part of the bigger BFFP movement ( has deployed the Rainbow Warrior to the Philippines to bear witness to the impacts of plastic pollution, before it heads to the next legs of its Ship It Back tour in Europe, where many of the FMCG companies that are the source of plastic production are headquartered.

More info on plastics pollution:

Nestlé, Unilever, P&G among worst offenders for plastic pollution in Philippines in beach audit.

A Crisis of Convenience: The corporations behind the plastics pollution pandemic.

More information on RW in the Philippines:

Clean-up and Brand Audit in Lahug River.

Greenpeace action in Manila Bay.

Rainbow Warrior in Manila.

Why Froilan Grate is joining the Greenpeace ships.

Media Contacts:

Abigail Aguilar, Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines
Email: | Mobile: +63 998 589 2551

Angelica Carballo Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines
Email: | Mobile: +63 949 889 1332



We, the local officials, civil society organizations and citizens comprising the Province of Cebu, commit to eliminating the blight of plastic pollution that is threatening our beautiful island home. We commit to protecting the right of every Cebuano to a balanced and healthful ecology and upholding Cebu as the prime tourism destination that it is by adopting laws, ordinances and practices that do away with wasteful and polluting single-use plastic. We commit to promoting and encouraging amongst our residents and visitors the implementation of zero-waste practices in our households and workplaces, and supporting businesses that do the same.

We, the stakeholders in Cebu, spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Cebu through the Tourism Office and the Environment and Natural Resources Office, hereby declare that:

We will act as change agents to create proactive measures to reduce and eventually ban single-use consumption within the Province of Cebu

We will increase awareness of the public against single-use plastics through information and education campaign.

We will promote the best practices of the Cebu Tourism Industry (green resorts) in implementing projects with zero waste goals.

We will support efforts of start-ups to ditch single-use plastics in their businesses, including better delivery systems like reuse or refill systems.

The Province of Cebu will be one of the leading government units aiming to become 100% single-use plastic free in the Visayas regions.

We firmly believe that, in order to reduce solid wastes, there is a need to strongly regulate and prohibit the use of certain types of waste that significantly contribute to the pollution problem. Single-use plastic may be convenient, but they hardly decompose, only eventually turning into microplastics that stay with us for thousands of years, and which are now appearing in our bodies and even in the most remote corners of our seas and mountains. Single-use plastic has become an immense waste problem and disposing of these brings even more harm to the environment.

To ensure the full implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which mandates local government units to reduce solid waste disposal, Cebu will adopt measures aimed to “reduce the use of non-recyclable materials, replace disposable materials and products with reusable materials and products, reduce packaging, and increase the efficiency of the use of paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and other materials”.

Cebu will lead the way to a plastic-free future.