Raka7's inaugural tournament in Fiji commits to a plastic free event

What do Rugby sevens and a plastic free environment have in common? In Fiji, the inaugural Raka 7s tournament to kick off today is a plastic free event, empowering competing teams and spectators to 'ditch the plastic.'

Over 24 and 25 November, 80 teams including 16 women's teams will battle it out on the rugby field competing for over FJD 50,000 worth of prizes. Strongly advocating for people to stop using plastic, the players are supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and other partners, in raising awareness of the need for responsible waste practices and good environmental behaviour.

SPREP has a booth at the event, calling upon spectators to pledge actions and commitments for a 'plastic free' Fiji. There are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our ocean and we're still counting. Every small action undertaken by an individual to avoid using plastic makes a big difference.

plastic pic4
Pledging to say no to plastic.

"If you are going to be at the Raka7's this year, we ask that you don't take or use plastic bags, but rather seek alternatives. We'd also ask that you visit the SPREP booth to learn more of the impact caused by our use of plastic and ways that you can help to make a difference," said Mr Anthony Talouli, the Pollution Adviser of SPREP.

"We are proud to support and work in partnership with Raka7's to help others make a positive impact. We have a number of giveaways – environmentally friendly ones, as well as pledge boards that you can make a commitment to. We'll be sharing your pledges with the rest of our Pacific island community through social media."

Refusing to use plastic bags is one way to help save our environment, this is one of many steps that people can undertake and make a part of their Pacific way of life. It can take from 500 years to forever for Styrofoam and plastic bags to biodegrade, escalating the damage it can cause, especially when ending up in our ocean. Statistics show that plastic is present in the fish consumed by people.

Compounding the fact that marine debris is not the problem of one country and one ocean, given marine debris floats and travels, this is an issue that crosses borders – calling upon the international community to play their part.

plastic pic3
Walking plastic bag costume on display at the Raka7's

"We're really proud of the Raka 7's organising committee and their initiative to make this event a 'plastic-free' one. It's showing and demonstrating leadership, inspiring sports players and spectators to adopt good environment practices," said Mr Talouli.

"We're honoured to be a part of this."

A lot of learning and 'leading by example' activities will be underway at the Raka7's. Other booths at the Raka7's will not be using plastic bags, there will be an environment survey led by the IUCN Pacific Regional Office, spot prizes awarded throughout the two days to spectators that are seen displaying good environmental behaviour and a 'plastic bag person' will be on display to help raise awareness of the damage that can be caused by plastic bags.

In partnership, SPREP is providing support for the Raka7's volunteers as well as maintaining a booth calling for commitments to adopting plastic free practices.

You can follow the pledges made on the SPREP and Raka7's Facebook Pages.
You are here: Home News Waste Management and Pollution Control Raka7's inaugural tournament in Fiji commits to a plastic free event