How Siargao Manages Waste


Where the Waves are Clean: How Siargao Manages Waste

Notice how the sea makes a resounding woosh when it tides. A call of nature perhaps, implying its overflow from mounds of trash beneath it. Factor in a music festival, an international surfing competition, and direct flights to the island, tourists are flocking Siargao like seagulls in migration and waste is a tailing shadow to every traveller. It's a boom for local hostels, resorts, and surf centers, thus they chip in to manage the garbage in their beloved island. The Siargao Tourism Operators Association (STOA), however, has reported that solid waste disposal is the top challenge to the island's conservation. Only 14% of their members say their trash are collected, and some 38% do not get their waste removed at all. The others claim they tip the garbage collectors to have their trash disposed. As a long-term action, the Siargao Environmental Awareness (SEA) Movement has been formed, acting to elevate the quality of living in the island. The community-powered movement works with native businesses and the STOA. Among its projects is pushing for Plastic-free Siargao, a local ordinance that, if passed, will ban single-use plastics like straws, cups, and bags.
Photo by: @kudosurf
Photo by: @camillerdp
Before, the tourist-adored province does not have a recycling facility, but the Siargao Green overhauled eco-living, being a Filipino-owned and operated plant that reuses plastic, rubber, and glass. The facility puts trash to good use by transforming the materials into clothing for Siargao residents and for export merchandise. A portion of the sales from WSL Online and Kudo Surf are donated for SEA Movement's programs. Like the waves, Siargao's people are a surge of efforts that will wash away the waste. The locals become more responsible through the SEA Movement's workshops on segregation and recycling with leadership training for the community. They invest deeper in the pool by organizing book donation drives and eco-awareness programs for education of the youth, believing in the young generation's adeptness as personification of tides that will surround Siargao's future. For thorough cleanliness, the SEA Patrol program gathers Siargao groms who lead beach cleanup in Cloud 9 and Tuason Point. More environmental learnings are sponsored by the movement through public screenings of eco films such as 'A Plastic Ocean.'
Photo by: @kudosurf
All these actions are just the fins in the water that have propelled the historic International Women's Surfing Cup in May 2017 which was the first WSL Qualifying Series event held in the Philippines. The competition is remembered for being the pioneer in opposing single-use plastics, during which the SEA Movement installed water refilling stations with reusable cups. Being co-founders of the movement, Kudo Surf's own founders have sponsored eco rash vests — made from 11 plastic bottles and non-toxic ink — which were used in the WSL Championship Tour. More so, the International Women's Surfing Cup featured banners recycled from plastic water bottles. Said banners have been reproduced into Kudo Surf board shorts after the event. The apparel have been distributed to Siargao groms as well.
Photo by: @kudosurf
Sea waves break free, rise, and return to the vastness, a process that reflects recycling. Kudo Surf harnesses nature's goings-on through the production of eco surf-wear: board shorts, surf suits, bikinis, and shirts. All apparel are crafted with environmental resources, foremost is the Regenerated ECONYL yarn — organic cotton — plus plastic bottles. Aside from plastic bags, take-out coffee cups, and the notorious plastic straw, National Geographic reports that 46% of ocean wastes are ghost nets and discarded fishing gear. The nylon and scrap fabric from these fishing materials are recreated by Kudo Surf into Regenerated ECONYL, the sustainable main cloth of the brand's wears for surfers. And as surfing connects the soul to the waves, Kudo Surf labors into cleaning up the waters by garnering trashed plastic bottles then re-manufacturing it into board & walk shorts. 90% of these beach wear are created from the plastic waste.
Photo by: @kudosurf
By putting on Kudo Surf apparel, the touch of the waves can be felt in the breezy texture. This is an effect of the organic cotton — a responsibly sourced product. Most clothing is hemmed with polyester, a non-biodegradable petroleum-based fiber. Kudo Surf steers its board from the sea of pollutants by paddling in their own course, manufacturing organic cotton. Knowing how Siargao is cleaned by its people, it ebbs the worry and clears the coast for a sustainable environment. Kudo Surf being at the forefront of eco-branding, the island streams to a future with less waste and cleaner waves.
 

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