Project to tackle e-waste pollution

By Marc Membrere 16 October 2021, 9:25PM

A new initiative has been launched to tackle the problem of the stockpiling and illegal dumping and burning of technology-related or e-waste in Samoa.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E) is working in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P) to roll out the PacWastePlus programme. 

The project is administered by the European Union (E.U) funded PacWastePlus programme.

A Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) was signed between the M.N.R.E and S.P.R.E.P on Wednesday to inaugurate the project.

The project seeks to train and support staff and contractors to safely handle and dismantle the e-waste and assist in the identification of suitable facilities for the dismantling and storage of e-waste before being recycled overseas.

S.P.R.E.P. said e-waste contains a range of hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants which contaminate soil and waterways when illegally dumped and pollute the atmosphere when burnt.

The Director-General of S.P.R.E.P, Leota Kosi Latu stated that the M.O.U signed reflects months of close collaboration with the M.N.R.E.

Leota also acknowledged a working relationship with E.U that provided funding support and technical support for the PacWastePlus Programme Management Unit.

"This [M.N.R.E.] project is focused on creating an efficient and sustainable legislative environment in Samoa to support the long-term operation of an e-waste management system, empowering the Samoan government and engaging with the private sector partners to strengthen existing partnerships and effectively manage e-waste," Leota said during the signing ceremony.

According to the statement, M.N.R.E. will work on providing safe e-waste collection, dismantling facilities and incentives to the community for e-waste recycling.

The Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of the M.N.R.E Frances Reupena Brown stated that the project will improve e-waste management, by strengthening the design and implementing a system allowing people to safely return e-waste. 

She said that the project will also assist in developing policy to strengthen the management of e-waste by providing a solid framework for an industry response and solution to the e-waste management issue in Samoa.

"This innovative project partnership will assist us to develop and implement appropriate legislation that enables the creation of a sustainable financing mechanism to ensure the ongoing sustainability of e-waste management in Samoa," she said.

By Marc Membrere 16 October 2021, 9:25PM
Samoa Observer

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