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PM Tells: We provide Rubbish Bins But People Need To Use Them

PM Tells: We provide Rubbish Bins But People Need To Use Them
Kosi Latu (Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme SPREP) (left), Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Dame Meg Taylor at the SPREP Clean Pacific Roundtable Meeting. Photo: DEPTFO NEWS
August 21
10:43 2018

In an effort to have a cleaner Fiji, the Government is installing rubbish bins nationwide.

But the onus is on individuals to make good use of it.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, while opening the three-day Clean Pacific Round table talks facilitated by South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat at Ratu Sukuna Road, Suva, Mr Bainimarama challenged Fijians to do their part.

“I want to be clear, my Government can install waste bins and we are doing just that, as we’ve funded nationwide standardisation of rubbish bins and a stepped campaign of rubbish collection in our latest budget. What we cannot do is force people to use them,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“That’s a decision that individuals must make; that communities must make. It is an expectation we all must set for each other, and it is a patriotic duty we must all fulfil for the health, safety and indeed the security of our nation.

“This is a cultural change that starts at home and in the classroom, and it is a change that’s seeing particular momentum among our youth.

“I’ve been incredibly encouraged to see young people of the Pacific taking the lead as some of the world’s most outspoken and active climate warriors,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama, who also co-presided over the first Ocean’s Summit with Sweden in New York last year, said that Pacific Island nations were responsible for just a tiny share of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but that did not mean that we couldn’t be leaders in instituting real policy changes.

Closer to home, the PM gave an example of a current initiative to tackle climate change with tax implemented on single-use plastic bags.

“Most of the plastic that ends up in our waters doesn’t come from Fiji, or from any of our Pacific Island neighbours, but from much larger and wealthier countries.

“But that doesn’t mean we get a pass. Nor do our businesses or citizens,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“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.

He then challenged the private sector to consider similar innovative ways to challenge the status quo.

“Our hotels, our stores, and even our bottled water companies need to realise 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. I assure you, it’s smart business to adapt now to survive in a greener future,” Mr Bainimarama said.

The round table discussions will end tomorrow.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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