As we mark International Day of Zero Waste today, the founder of Pacific Recycling Foundation and CEO of Waste Recyclers Fiji Limited, Amitesh Deo stresses that there is a great need to hold waste producers and those involved in waste management accountable in terms of where recyclables are ending up.
Deo says one of the key messages of International Day of Zero Waste is to maximize recycling and it has now become necessary to monitor and track where our recyclables are ending up.
He adds accountability and transparency remain key to achieving zero waste to landfill.
Deo says while many organisations are now talking about their environmental sustainability programs, one should question whether they can trace the recyclables that waste management companies are picking from their factories and offices.
He says waste management companies should be able to inform people what happens to the large quantities of recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and electronic waste that they collect in the name of proper waste management, and if they cannot, they will have to be held accountable.
DEO says PRF and WRFL’s waste management and recycling programs have a monitoring and evaluation framework that collects data, provides feedback, and records lessons learned.
Deo further says they are also concerned about massive amounts of recyclables, particularly plastic that is reaching remote areas and outer islands and are never finding their way back to the mainland.
He says PRF has engaged a consultant to conduct a feasibility study on getting recyclables from outer islands back to Viti Levu and they will be able to announce soon which models will be used to capture these recyclables.
The PRF Founder further states that their long-term goal is to capture enough volumes of recyclables that justify the large-scale capital investment in recycling facilities that can employ those that are currently involved in informal waste picking.
The United Nations General Assembly on 14 December 2022 formally recognised the importance of zero-waste initiatives and proclaimed 30th March as the International Day of Zero Waste, to be observed annually beginning this year.
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