Philippines: The teenager diving for plastic

Every day he risks his life collecting plastic waste

Ranniel dives into one of Manila’s most polluted rivers for less than two dollars a day.

Thirteen-year-old Ranniel quit school to support his family. He now risks his life, diving into polluted waters to retrieve plastic waste, the result of a pay-as-you-go, single-use plastic culture that is devastating the environment.



It’s estimated that Filipinos dispose of 163 million single-use sachets of household products a day, according to one study. That’s enough to cover the entire area of Metropolitan Manila, one-foot-deep in plastic waste.

The irony is that the money Ranniel makes then goes to buy more single use plastics as they are the only things the family can afford.


This should make us more aware of finding alternatives to plastic that is not biodegradable so that young teenagers like Ranniel do not have to spend their time in situations like this.

Watch the full BBC clip here.

Video by Howard Johnson and Virma Simonette.