New plastic, can recycling scheme to be launched
Samoans will soon be able to recycle their plastic bottles and cans as a result of a grant by The Coca-Cola Foundation to the Samoa Recycling and Waste Management Association (S.R.W.M.A).
The year-long grant, worth around $100,000, will enable the Association to establish the first plastic bottle and can recycling scheme in Apia.
People will be encouraged to recycle bottles and cans so that they might have another life after they have been used.
The President of S.R.W.M.A, Marina Keil, says she is delighted that Samoa will soon have a collection and recycling programme of its own.
"The last thing we want is to see bottles and cans in the environment. This programme means the bottles and cans can now not only be collected but be recycled into something else," she said.
According to Ms. Keil, a total of 24 recycling cages for cans and plastic bottles will be placed in busy locations within the next month. The S.R.W.M.A will then pick up and transport the material to its site for export and recycling.
"We can’t do this on our own. We are asking the public to look out for the recycling bins and use them every time they have an empty bottle or can so we can really make a difference," she said.
"The more we collect, the more we can recycle, and ensure the bottles have another life and don’t end up in the oceans. Waste is everyone's responsibility let's all work together for a healthier environment and a cleaner Samoa remember to reuse. reduce and recycle."
The Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's (M.N.R.E) Department of Environment and Conservation, Seumalo Afele Faiilagi, said that there are large stockpiles of plastic bottles and cans in the country.
"As an island country, Samoa depends heavily on marine resources for food but large numbers of plastic bottles find their way into the ocean every year," he said.
"This has an impact on the marine environment through laceration, entrapment, entanglement, suffocation and even the death of marine animals.
"[The] M.N.R.E conveys its support to [the] S.R.W.M.A for this initiative and will provide technical support to ensure this initiative will be of great benefit for the people of Samoa."
The President of the Coca-Cola Foundation, Helen Smith Price, said the company is committed to increasing collection and recycling across the globe.
"Our ‘World Without Waste’ goal is to collect and recycle one can or bottle for every one we sell by 2030,” she said.
“We understand the need to increase the collection and recycling of plastic bottles and cans in the Pacific Islands and this grant will assist [us].”