Submitted by leannem on Mon, 09/02/2019 - 12:44
Beach clean-up
September 2, 2019 by leannem
Waste Management and Pollution Control

31 August 2019, Apia, Samoa - An astounding 3,516 pieces of litter with a combined weight of 8,150 grams was collected from a collection survey at the Maleafatu Park Seawall. This dataset was collected by “Citizen Scientists”, made up of SPREP Pacific Environment Forum participants, staff and volunteers at an official monitoring site as part of the Litter Intelligence long-term litter monitoring programme. 

The Litter Intelligence is a long-term programme led by registered New Zealand charity, Sustainable Coastlines, and funded by the Ministry for the Environment through the Waste Minimisation Fund, and also works in close collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand.

The results will be presented and discussed at the Pacific Environment Forum – “Circling away from non-essential single-use plastics” currently underway at the Tanoa Hotel as part of a series of build-up conferences for the 29th Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) meeting.

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A total of 53 Citizen Scientists participated in the survey at the Sogi Recreational Area foreshore which had a set survey area of 100m x 8m. Items collected were segregated by volunteers and SPREP staff and analysed using an innovative app. By working to a United Nations Environment Program / Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission methodology, data was collected at the highest standard of scientific rigour, allowing it to be used for national, regional and international reporting, including the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.

Results of the analysis revealed a litter density of 4,395 per 1000m2. Although more glass or ceramic fragments were collected, the usual suspects of plastic products were also commonly littered, with 597 items with a combined weight of 1,771 grams picked up. A more detailed analysis of the clean-up can be found in Table 1 below. 

Type

Count

Weight (g)

Glass & Ceramic

2414

4779

  • Glass or ceramic fragments

2413

4704

  • Light globes/bulbs

1

75

Plastic

597

1771

  • Resin pellets

A

N/A

  • Unidentifiable hard plastic fragments

55

79

  • Strapping bands

5

9

  • Rope

1

1

  • Food containers

5

45

  • Straws

2

1

  • Plastic bags

80

55

  • Food wrappers

143

123

Source: The Sustainable Coastlines Team ( https://litterintelligence.org/data/survey) 

The 29th SPREP Meeting of Officials is being held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia, Samoa from 3 - 6 September. The Meeting will bring together SPREP’s 21 Pacific island Members countries and 5 Metropolitan Members to discuss strategic issues pertaining to the organisation, and to approve the 2020-2021 work plan. The Environment Ministers’ High-Level Talanoa will be held on Friday 6 September.

The 21 Pacific island member countries and territories of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

The five metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The 29th SPREP Meeting of Officials follows on from the inaugural Executive Board Meeting, which was held in 2018, after the SPREP Meeting shifted to meeting every two years
.