Anna Dawson is no stranger to the Philippines coastline having lived and worked in the country since 2008, however her next challenge will be one of her biggest yet. From September until December she will be cycling 2000km along the coasts of the Visayas and Luzon advocating for a reduction in ocean plastic, cleaning up beaches and talking to school groups.
“Actually the country is underdeveloped for cycle tourism. It will be a great way to get around and spread this important message,” says Dawson, who will be accompanied on the journey by her husband and one year old son. “I’m going to be riding a bamboo bike made in the Philippines. If any other travellers want to try these they should visit the Bambike shop in Manila and check out their awesome Ecotours.”
The inspiration for this upcoming quest came when Anna and her husband sailed from their hometown of Auckland, New Zealand up to the Philippines. Along the way they stopped in many beautiful remote islands, however they were often littered with plastic, despite being largely uninhabited. “Plastic pollution is a huge problem for the global community and the Philippines, due to its population and length of coastline has been listed as the third biggest contributor to ocean plastic.” Further inspiration for this quest came in 2015 when Anna became a mum. “I really want to make sure my son swims in a clean ocean. I can’t bear to think that the ocean may one day be un-swimmable like some of the rivers we know today.”
Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Plastics, made from oil, never properly break down and institutes like the 5gyres are finding a lot of micro-plastic in oceans around the world. This gets into the food chain, killing marine and bird life.
Anna is very keen to connect with any travellers passionate about the environment who might like to join her for beach clean up events along the way. Please support her by linking to her campaign page on facebook @Plastic Free Philippines. To learn more about exploring the Philippines capital on a bamboo bike head over to Bambike Ecotours.