Addressing waste and pollution – A must for the Cook Islands
- Published on 05 October 2012
One recent activity has been a cloth bag art exhibition where artists created artwork on cloth bags in support of the “Say YES” to reusable bags campaign.
The exhibition supports a “Prohibition on Importation of Plastic Shopping Bags Regulation 2012” which came into effect on 19th September. The regulation bans the importation of non-biodegradable plastic bags into the country; and regulates the importation of biodegradable plastic bags in their place.
There has also been an exhibition of recycled sculptures held. Schools, government departments and community groups participated in creating marine creatures in support of the Cook Islands Marine Park from waste articles generated within their workplaces.
“The concept was used to highlight the amount of waste we produced and its proper management, so it does not end up in our lagoon and ocean, threatening our marine life” said Deyna Marsh, of the National Environment Service.
The Lagoon Day celebration is another annual event celebrated in the Cook Islands. This year, the venue for the annual environment expo was held at the landfill and recycling centre. The choice of venue highlighted to the community where all their household rubbish was disposed of.
“This was a success as many people did not know where their waste went and what actually happens to it, particularly the recyclable items. This was actually an eye opener to many in the community and it raised their awareness on the importance of recycling” said Ms Marsh.
In addition to the exhibitions, another important initiative that has been implemented is the recycling stations at the Punanganui Market on the island of Raratonga. Well labeled recycling stations have been put in place to continuously remind visitors, as well as market vendors, of the importance of recycling.
Other ongoing waste and pollution initiatives in the Cook Islands include clean-up campaigns and a re-usable nappy campaign.
For more information of the Clean Pacific Campaign, please contact SPREP’s Clean Pacific Campaign Coordinator, Ms Ilisapeci Masivesi at: email@example.com.