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Beach rubbish survey ‘back to square one’

Wednesday June 13, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
The rusted out carcass of a household appliance on the beach at Nikao yesterday. 18061205 The rusted out carcass of a household appliance on the beach at Nikao yesterday. 18061205

Week six of the Solid Waste Management committee has brought disappointing results, with a WATSAN spokesperson commenting that long weekends seem to bring out the worst in people.

A post on the organisation’s Facebook page said the survey was almost back to square one, with 11.4kg of waste found.

“Remember this is from one small stretch of beach in just one week,” the spokesperson said

This week the survey of a small section of foreshore along the popular Nikao Social beach turned up 4.9kg of glass, 0.5kg of aluminium, 0.4kg of plastic, 0.5kg of disposable nappies and 5.1 kg of “general” rubbish.

The anti-beach litter initiative involves surveying the same stretch of beach every week, with the aim of quantifying data on beach litter. The data will be used to provide information for anti-litter policies, while also monitoring further action on combating litter as the initiative progresses.

The first survey, early in May, turned up items including a stove and a television set. CINews took a quick look around a section of beach nearer the seawall on Saturday, and found items including part of what appeared to be a fridge or air conditioning unit, numerous plastic bottles and plastic bags, as well as cans, glass bottles, pens and cigarette lighters.

Meanwhile, WATSAN has announced the imminent completion of a poster illustrated by Maya Baudinet with input from the National Environment Service, Te Ipukarea Society, CITC/Foodland, General Transport and Infrastructure Cook Islands - Solid Waste Committee members.

A Facebook post said the aim of the graphics-oriented poster was to ensure as many people as possible know how to sort rubbish for roadside collection, where to take everything else, rules around litter and burning and tips for making changes to everyday practices to reduce rubbish generation.

Ironically, the poster will have a limited print run to avoid the problem of discarded posters ending up in rubbish bins, but can easily be downloaded and printed on a home printer.

            - CS/WATSAN

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