Universitas Indonesia Conferences, The 8th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Interrogating Blame in the Plastic Discourse in the Philippines
Efenita Taqueban

Last modified: 2022-06-06


The Philippines rank as the third country in the world that generates the most plastic waste and contributes the largest amount of global plastic waste to the world’s oceans (Jambeck et al. 2015). Plastic has become the ubiquitous material that marks contemporary modern convenience. It has to some extent become “incorporated into the commonsense way we interpret, live in, and understand the world” (Harvey 2007)—informing how we understand the materiality of hygiene, durability, and convenience. Drawing from exploratory fieldwork in the Philippines and engaging debates about plastic control, this presentation attempts to make sense of plastic practices and blaming among Filipinos. The presentation calls attention to the local that is increasingly entrenched in a global system of production and consumption characterized by increasing desire and reliance on things that is often captured in the trope of the tragedy of the commons, obfuscating systemic drivers and inequalities in waste plastic production.



Jenna R. Jambeck, et al. (2015). Plastic waste inputes from land into the ocean. DOI: 10.1126/science.1260352David Harvey (2007). Neoliberalism as Destrutive Creation.  DOI: 10.1177/0002716206296780

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