Global Recycling Day celebrated in Samoa

The 3rd Global Recycling Day did not pass by unnoticed in Samoa.

A dedicated group of recycling enthusiasts celebrated the occasion by committing more resources to cleaning up the country.

The National University of Samoa, The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Samoa Recycling Waste Management Association came together to launch a new recycling project and introduce a new plan for the University.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer for M.N.R.E, Seumalo Afele Faiilagi, said the day demands of people to put the planet first. 

“The global recycling day was created in 2018 by the global recycling foundation with the aim to recognise and celebrate the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious resources and secure the future of this planet. 

“Over the decade we have witnessed significant changes to our planet, and we are now facing a climate emergency of unparalleled proportions  that needs urgent attention from around the world.”

The Government is working to combat this treating recycling as the priority measure for addressing waste, as well as outright bans on several harmful products like single use plastic bags, straws, and later this year Styrofoam food packaging. 

Next, it will focus on hazardous waste like electronic waste by utilising funding and expertise under the regional PacWaste Plus project managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. 

The theme for this year’s recycling day is Recycling Heroes. Samoa Recycling Waste Management Association President Marina Keil said with climate change rapidly affecting life in the Pacific and beyond, recycling needs to be taken seriously.

“It’s just to raise awareness on recycling and to celebrate those who are recycling heroes. This should be a platform that is dedicated to them.

S.R.W.M.A., like Global Recycling Day, is just three years old, having first launched on this day in 2018. The association is working to connect recycling streams together to help create a critical mass of recyclables that can actually be turned into something new, or exported out of Samoa. 

In their charter, the association states it wants to promote reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible, and where available the returning of recyclables and waste to their source.

“We have to ensure that waste is returned to its country of origin – Asia, the United States, Australia and New Zealand,” Deputy President Silafau John Sio said.  

Also present to celebrate the day was the National University of Samoa Vice Chancellor Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma, who urged everyone do to their part in keeping Samoa clean.

“We can all make a difference individually, whether that is segregating our own rubbish, picking up rubbish on the side of the road or reducing the volume of garbage we contribute to,” he said.

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