Pacific Islands Partner to Transfer Waste for Sustainable Treatment and Recycling
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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SPREP Director General Kosi Latu said the Moana Taka Partnership with the China Navigation Company will help overcome the “immense waste management challenge” in the Pacific islands due to geographical limitations and other factors.

By the partnership, 21 Pacific island countries are eligible to ship recyclable waste to be sustainably treated and recycled at suitable locations, free of charge.

21 March 2018: A partnership to address waste management in the Pacific islands will enable recyclable waste to be transported to ports in the region for sustainable treatment and recycling. The China Navigation Company (CNCo) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) creating the Moana Taka Partnership.

The signing took place in Samoa and Singapore on 20 March 2018 to mark Global Recycling Day 2018. Speaking during the signing, SPREP Director General Kosi Latu said the Partnership will help overcome the “immense waste management challenge” in the Pacific islands due to geographical limitations and other factors. By the partnership, CNCo vessels will carry containers of recyclable waste from Pacific island ports, free of charge, to be sustainably treated and recycled off the islands and in other suitable ports in the Asia Pacific region.

Pacific island countries with insufficient or inappropriate landfill space to store waste, inadequate waste treatment facilities, and financial inability to ship recyclable waste are eligible to participate in the partnership; 21 Pacific islands are thus eligible. Recyclable materials include plastics, aluminum cans, waste oil and ozone depleting substances (ODS).

Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), welcomed the partnership, saying better waste management is a critical issue in Pacific islands. He stressed that while landfills should be the last resort, throwing waste into the ocean is not an option. He said public-private partnerships like the Moana Taka Partnership are necessary to overcome such environmental challenges.

The CNCo, headquartered in Singapore, has provided sustainable shipping solutions to the Pacific islands for 80 years. [SPREP Press Release]

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