15th November 11:38 PM
My Government can install wastebins and we are doing just that - PM
By Faria Begum
Monday 20/08/2018
Prime Minister and keynote speaker Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama delivers his remarks at the SPREP Clean Pacific Roundtable Meeting[Photo:Fijian Government]

My Government can install wastebins and we are doing just that, as we have funded nation wide standardized rubbish bins and standard campaign of rubbish collection in this budget.

What we cannot do is force the people to use them.

This is the statement made by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while speaking at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Clean Pacific Roundtable meeting which was held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva this morning.

The Prime Minister says most of the plastic that ends up in our waters does not come from Fiji, or from any of our Pacific Island neighbours, but from much larger and wealthier countries, but that does not mean we get a pass.

Bainimarama says that is why my Government instituted a tax on single‑use plastic bags, which was raised from 10 to 20 cents just this month, as part of our commitment to completely phase out the use of plastic bags in Fiji by 2020.

Bainimarama has also challenged the private sector to consider similar innovative ways to challenge the status quo.

He says our hotels, our stores, and even our bottled water companies need to realize that the world is entering into a new era of conscious consumption, one in which depending on plastic will prove to be both environmentally and economically unsustainable.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Kosi Latu has acknowledged the Prime Minister for his support towards waste management in the oceans.

Latu says we continue to witness the increase of unprecedented waste and pollution pressure from human induced activities.

He says their impact threatens not only our environment but our social and economic resilience.

The three-day meeting has participants from all 21 of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme member countries and ends on Wednesday this week.

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