Ten million vatu for plastic bottle clean-up

World Vision Vanuatu is to spend around ten million vatu on a clean-up of used plastic bottles in Port Vila.

World Vision’s Communications Manager, Mike Esrom Kaun, says the organisation has set a target of removing one million plastic bottles to clean-up the environment.

“The program aims to cut down the amount of plastic waste in the environment and focusses on people helping to collect waste plastics,” Mr Kaun said.

He said the clean-up is helping to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the waste collectors able to sell the plastic bottles to World Vision Vanuatu for a small fee.

He says this week, Feiawa Park in Port Vila was packed with people from different communities who had come to sell waste plastics to World Vision.

The organisation’s Pauline Toa says the highest number of plastic bottles bought from a local collector was 6656. She says that local was paid VT66,560.

One local from Ifira Island, Marie Kalpukai, thanked World Vision Vanuatu for the program.

“We received over VT80,000,” Ms Kalpukai told VBTC News.

“I am very happy because it helps us and our families to earn a little money.

“And it also cleans the environment.”

Mr Kaun says many locals had gone to Etas Landfill to collect the waste plastic bottles to sell to World Vision.

He said his organisation was surprised to see how many people had got onboard with the project and encouraged people to keep cleaning-up and looking after the environment.

In one downside of the initiative, some collectors were using mosquito nets to gather up the bottles.

Malaria Vector Control Officer, Guy Emile, called on the public to keep their mosquito nets for protection against the mosquito bites that cause malaria.

“Mosquito nets are given out for free as part of a government project funded by aid donors and people must make good use of them,” Mr Emile said.

“Mosquito nets are too important to be used for collecting plastic bottles.”

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