SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Andrew Paris, local marine researcher and environment co-ordinator for Blue Prosperity Fiji noted that the country is currently facing a plastic pollution crisis. The statement was made while addressing delegates during the recently held Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Oceans Management in Nadi.
He highlighted the need for political will to fight the battle against the crisis and mitigate its impacts. Furthermore, he urged the countries in the entire Pacific region in finding effective solutions to solve the plastic waste crisis.
Mr.Paris called for upstream solutions for plastic pollution. He noted that the region does not manufacture a lot of volumes of plastic. However, the volume of imported plastics has grown significantly over the past several years. Before devising ways to manage plastic waste, the region should prevent plastic imports. There has not been enough political will on undertaking such measures, he added.
The regional countries should follow the lead of the Solomon Islands, which recently banned the use of certain single-use plastic items.
The Pacific region should focus on steps to limit imports of plastics as it lacks sufficient waste management infrastructure to deal with them. Moreover, it is not that easy to bring about a behavioural change in people.
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