Introducing the Iokwe Bag – a rubbish bag with a difference

In Republic of the Marshall Islands this week, the design has been unveiled for a striking new garbage bag, made specifically for household waste collection in Majuro.

The Iokwe Bag is a rubbish bag with a difference. As well as being made for Majuro, money from the sale of the bags will help pay for the cost of waste collection for the whole of the atoll.

The introduction of the Iokwe Bag is one component of a pilot project on integrated atoll waste management project being undertaken by PacWaste – a 7.85 million euro project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to improve regional hazardous waste management across the Pacific.

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The Iokwe Bag slogan and design was developed through a series of stakeholder engagement workshops held in Majuro.

The Iokwe Bag design was developed through a series of stakeholder engagement workshops held in Majuro. Ms Linda Tomeing, who is assisting the PacWaste team with communication and awareness activities on the ground in Majuro, explains the meaning of the bag design:

"The slogan 'Erreo eo, ñan emman eo' roughly translates as 'a cleaner environment is better/healthier'. The rainbow was chosen as a symbol as it represents hope, unity and optimism. We love this design because we are hopeful, optimistic and united in our desire to make a cleaner Marshall Islands."

With .9 kilograms of waste generated per person, per day, Majuro atoll has the highest per capita rate of waste generation in the Pacific islands region. While the island does have a waste collection service it is under-resourced and does not service all areas. The revenue generated from the sale of the Iokwe bags will be used to extend the coverage of the waste collection service to all communities in Majuro.

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Mr Tim Hartley (PacWaste Solid Waste Project Officer), Ms Amber Carvan (PacWaste Communications Officer) and Ms Linda Tomeing (PacWaste Project Assistant, RMI) with the new logo for the Iokwe Bag. Photo: E.Vanderburg/SPREP

PacWaste will be working closely with government, communities and organisations in Majuro to launch the Iokwe Bag in November. Supporting activities will promote waste reduction, segregation and recycling.

Residents of Majuro can stay up-to-date with plans for the Iokwe Bag launch by following @iokwebag on Twitter or liking the Iokwe Bag Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/iokwebag

For more information on the PacWaste pilot project in Majuro, please contact Mr Tim Hartley on timh@sprep.org


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