Promising results from a study of river trash around urban Apia, has fired up happy reactions to the effects of the ban on single use plastics.
The trash was collected a fortnight ago, from four main rivers running across the township into the sea.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, MNRE, and the South Pacific Regional Environmental Projects (SPREP), are working together in a planned series of environment clean up to highlight the Pacific Games.
“Out of all the trash collected and identified, there was no sign of any plastic straws or any single used shopping bags that are currently banned,” MNRE Principal Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management Officer, Ms. Fiasosoitamali'i Siaosi said.
“This is great news because this really shows that people are mindful of our environment and are giving it support.”
The plastic ban became effective close to 4 months ago after the MNRE decided to take the lead to protect the local environment.
The ban of single use plastic bags and plastic straws came into effect on the 30th January 2019 calls for.
A fine of $10,000 is now in place for the import and sale of these plastic items.
“The Ministry cannot do it alone without the support of the people and this recent finding has really shown us what we are capable of-if we stand together.”
The positive response is also reassuring to the MNRE that the next stage of the ban of plastics will continue the promising public response.
“There is no doubt that the next stage of the ban to include, single used foam cups and plates is going to go down well too.”
The bad news according to Fiasosoitamali'i is that plastics made up 59% of the river trash collected.
The MNRE is determined to push for more awareness programmes to build on the positive mindset that is starting to show.
A series of cleanup activities is lined up around selected areas of town by the MNRE and support partners to serve as a continuing public reminder.
One was done yesterday as the second in the series with the third and final one close to the Pacific Games on the 29th June 2019.