The contestants were accompanied by MCIPA president Clee Marsters and reigning Miss Cook Islands Teuira Napa and was one way of giving back to the community before the crowning of the new Miss Cook Islands on Saturday.
The women managed to collect 44kg of waste within one hour in the area from the Takuvaine Stream towards Constitution Park, with glass bottles dominating the waste collected.
The Clean up the World campaign coordinated by the National Environment Service kicks off next Friday, but with the pageant final night looming this weekend, Marsters says it’s a great way for the contestants to be part of a campaign that’s been ongoing in the Cook Islands for many years and to give something back to the community.
The waste collection was an eye-opener for the outer islands contestants, who were stunned at the amount of waste not being disposed of properly. They say that in future, they will happily take part in clean-up programmes on their home islands.
Last week National Environment Service officers, Elizabeth Munro, Mii Matamaki, Moana Vaevae-Tetauru and Rimmel Poila conducted a development session with the contestants on “Issues facing our Environment,” mainly focusing on waste, compliance and biodiversity. Another session will be held on Friday before Saturday’s crowning. The National Environment Service thanks MCIPA for being part of the Clean Up the World campaign.
Clean up the World is an annual event uniting volunteers in local communities around the world towards a common goal, to clean up, fix up and conserve their shared environment.
An NES spokesman says litter dropped by Cook Islands people continues to collect on coastal beaches and riverways, polluting lagoons and threatening the existence of local marine and birdlife.
The National Environment Service is aligning this clean up event with their 2015 theme, “Ko au e Makona Aorangi.”