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UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
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Filipino designer uses art to campaign against plastic

It's a good way of evoking people's reactions to environmental problems

 Mark Saludes, Manila

Mark Saludes, Manila

Updated: June 14, 2019 08:58 AM GMT
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Filipino designer uses art to campaign against plastic

Rye Tipay poses for a photograph beside a pile of garbage after a fun run in the town of Dingalan on June 8. (Photo courtesy of Dingalan Artist Village.)

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Artist Rye Tipay and friends joined a "fun run" in the northern Philippine town of Dingalan on June 8 to warn against the dangers posed by plastic to the environment.
They signed up for the event wearing their "best garbage outfit" to show people that "the garbage problem is not a funny thing."

Tipay, a 33-year-old graphic designer, wore a plastic sack and a scruffy wig and painted his body with ash "to achieve a nasty look."

One friend wore a street sweeper's uniform while another placed plastic on his shirt. Another friend was wearing a banner with words that said "No to plasteek [plastic]."

"You must do this in other places, especially in cities where there are a lot of people who do not care anymore," one lady told the artist.

There were different reactions to the artist's stunt. Some smiled while others looked like they were disgusted by the dirt.

"I hope they got the point. If trash disgusts them, then we should produce less of it," Tipay told ucanews.com after the event.

He said his "small performance art" was a way of evoking people's reactions to environmental problems.

According to a report from environmental group the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Filipinos throw away at least 163 million plastic sachets daily.

The report, which was released in March, also showed that the average Filipino uses 591 plastic sachets and 174 plastic shopping bags every year.

In the town of Dingalan, plastic waste is starting to become a problem because of its booming tourism industry.

"Apart from calling to ban single-use plastic, we are urging people in the creative industry to think of ways to reuse plastics in our trash bins," Tipay said.

Last week, several Church leaders criticized an announcement by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that his administration will stop attending international meetings on the environment.

The president said international climate meetings have accomplished nothing because no entity enforces the laws governing climate.

"There is not even a sanction," said Duterte.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, however, said it only shows that the government "is not interested in a very important concern of Mother Earth."

In March 2017, Duterte signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement, which seeks to pursue efforts to curb global warming, was also signed by more than 195 other countries.

"I was agitated when I heard him say that climate talks are useless," said Tipay. "The government is denying the urgency of our problem with climate change."

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