International Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup a Success

Over 2,100 Kilograms of rubbish was collected along 1.5 Kilometres of beach area at Taumeasina in Samoa during the International Coastal Cleanup Day. The rubbish included plastic bags, food wrappers, plastic cutlery and Styrofoam food packaging and aluminium cans.

Samoa took part in the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday 17 September 2017 at the Pualele Outrigger Canoeing Club headquarters at Taumeasina. A second cleanup day for Samoa will be held on the Saturday 29th October.

This year, the PacWaste project, a €7.85 million, four year project supported by the European Union and implemented by SPREP to improve regional hazardous waste management across the Pacific, supported the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Volunteers sorting the rubbish collected at the end of the cleanup. Photo: SPREP

"We were quite surprised with the amount of rubbish that the volunteers were able to collect in such a small area of coastline," said Anthony Talouli, SPREP's Pollution Adviser.

"This just shows the continuing need to promote and advocate sound waste management practices to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse and Return waste. Everyone can do their bit to help. The government of Samoa through strong waste policies such as the banning of single use plastic bags, banning of styrofoams, banning of cheap fatty sugary foods that come in plastic wrappings, can also assist in Refusing of waste."

The cleanup saw more than 40 volunteers from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Pualele Outrigger Canoeing Club and members of the general public participating.

Uncontrolled waste compromises the health of humans and wildlife, and hurts local businesses that rely on a healthy ocean.

The aim of the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup was to work with volunteers to collect waste from coasts and waterways, help determine the source of debris and change the behaviours that help cause the problem.
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