A private company has launched an e-waste campaign to mark their 10-year anniversary and to promote an environmentally sustainable future for Samoa.
Initiated by owner and Chief Executive of S.S.A.B., Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, S.S.A.B. has partnered with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) to increase public awareness on the effects of e-waste and its proper disposal.
Tofilau said as part of the business community, she recognises the need and importance of the business sector to join in on this cause. Through their partnership with S.P.R.E.P. and M.N.R.E., they are able provide large bins at each S.S.A.B. branch in Upolu and Savaii for people to put in any old or damaged electronic products or waste.
“We also tied in the assistance of international companies such as HP New Zealand to provide incentives for our local people to trade in their old electronic products and get discounts on corresponding products,” said Tofilau.
“There are international recycling markets we are currently liaising with to try and send containers of e-waste to as opposed to dumping them at the Tafaigata landfill.”
Tofilau added the reason she decided to take up the initiative is because they are one of Samoa’s largest importers of electronic products.
“We recognise our corporate social responsibility to our country, people and environment and we owe it to Samoa and future generations to do our part in ensuring that there is a sustainable way of managing e-waste,” she said.
“That is why we have jumped on board with S.P.R.E.P, M.N.R.E. and other local businesses. We have sourced a container that we are currently using to load all the e-waste we collect in to.
“Through this partnership, we hope to assist S.P.R.E.P. and M.N.R.E. by physically decreasing the alarming volume of E-Waste in our environment, coming up with effective plans to sustain this project as well as increasing the awareness of the Samoan people through our Customers/stakeholders etc.”
Tofilau said the common metals found in electronic products include nickel, mercury, copper, and small amounts of arsenic and while they are not harmful while contained in the products, they can become harmful if they are broken open and not disposed of properly.