Plastic waste has become a huge problem in oceans all around the world. 18111323
Director National Environment Service (NES), Halatoa Fua says littering and rubbish on the beach is a significant problem in the Cook Islands – together with waste in general.
Fua says it is one of the least appealing aspects of the
Cook Islands International Visitor Survey.
“We encourage visitors and locals to bring this to our
Fua made this comment after CI News received a letter
from a visitor who said have been on Rarotonga for the last one month and on
Monday upon going to a late afternoon swim at the social centre beach they were
appalled by the amount of rubbish scattered across the sand which included an
empty bottle of vodka and two empty fizzy drink bottles.
It is not the first time attention has been focussed on
the Black Rock area with numerous visitors and locals going public with
Kate Gurran said when she went for a late afternoon swim
at the social centre beach, she was appalled at the amount of rubbish scattered
across the sand.
“As I stood there marvelling at the lagoon, I see on my
right the remains of a drunken night – an empty bottle of vodka and two empty
fizzy drink bottles.
“Then the worst of all, I see an empty plastic bag. A
plastic bag that could have easily been used to take these empty vessels to the
“I thought to myself, as the tide was rising, the next
wave that comes is going to take these bottles and plastic bag to sea.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of a turtle getting stuck in
this plastic bag or any other sea life suffocating or mistaking the plastic for
Gurran said she grabbed the plastic bag and picked up the bottles.
looked around to see if there was any other rubbish I could remove from the
beach. Guess what there was”
food, plastic packets, cardboard plates, glad wrap – you name it. I ended up
filling two plastic bags with rubbish and recycling that people had dumped on
“As I go
to place these bags in the rubbish and recycling bins, I discover they’re
and recycling scattered all over the ground. I see no alternative bins
close-by. So I’ve cleaned the beach of rubbish, and now need to take it home to
my family’s bin.”
Fua in response, said there was a need for more awareness
and NES has developed some of the key tools including factsheets and videos.