‘Great Pacific garbage patch’ poses serious threat to Fiji and PICs

June 28, 2022 4:12 pm

[Source: UNDP]

The ‘Great Pacific garbage patch’ poses a serious threat to Fiji and other Pacific Island countries that value the ocean.

This has been highlighted by the Minister for Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy while addressing participants at the Plastics Circularity and Waste Management Systemic Design Workshop in Pacific Harbor today.

“The ‘Great Pacific garbage patch’ is the largest of these gyres of plastic debris, covering a staggering 1.6 million square kilometers. It poses a serious threat to Fiji and to our Pacific Vuvale who value the ocean as a source of sustenance, economic resources, transportation, and of course Pacific culture and identity.”

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Reddy says while Fiji contributes less than one percent of the world’s mismanaged plastics and may not be a major contributor to the crisis, we are facing the negative impacts arising from the production, use and improper management of plastics.

He adds as a small country with a brand image of banking on our environment, plastic litter is now threatening this position.

The Minister says in recognizing the seriousness of the plastic crisis – the Fijian Government banned the manufacture, sale, supply, and distribution of single-use plastic bags.

Fiji is one of the 175 nations to endorse the International End Plastic Pollution Resolution.