29 March, 2018, 12:00 am
NOA Lomanu is a regular Mission Pacific visitor who collects empty PET bottles and cans, day in, day out. The 81-year-old who hails from Kadavu found out about the Mission Pacific program through a friend of his and decided to give it a go. The Kadavu veteran says he picks up bottles because he does not want to waste time at home doing nothing and likes to live an active life.
“By picking up bottles I could kill three birds with one stone,” said Mr Lomanu.
“I do my daily exercise, clean up the environment, get paid and I usually plant as well. I’am a retiree and the only income I receive is from my pension. I used to be a teacher and taught in Lau and Kadavu. I became a senior education officer and this took me around Fiji but after I retired as a teacher and senior education officer, I worked as a marriage counsellor with the Social Welfare for about three years.”
Mr Lomani adds nothing is free today and the money he gets from collecting bags of PET bottles and cans is used for his grandson’s school needs and spending money.
“I use the time I have and my talent to make money,” he said.
“I usually pick up bottles every day and walk through Caubati, Nasinu and Nabua. Some of the people along the route I take help me by keeping their bottles and cans for when I pass their homes. Twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday I do this and my grandson who is in Year 13 helps me out.
Mr Lomani adds when his grandson helps him out, they usually split the money they earn from the bottles.
“I will miss him when his school break ends,” said Mr Lomanu.
“He helped me deliver just little over 90kg bags for recycle to Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd and hired a carrier which cost $20.”
A small number of individuals and families take advantage of this program.
Many people don’t realise how much this is beneficial not only for the environment but also for themselves. Some families are dependent on recycling for their livelihood and are consistent regulars who have been bringing in their plastic bottles and cans for years.
For more information call 3394 240, Monday to Friday during business hours. Opening hours for receipt of empty plastic bottles and cans are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 1pm.
Mission Pacific — recycling program is the only local beverage manufacturer to be engaged in recycling PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles to protect the environment. The program started in 1999 by Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd and recycles over 200 tons of PET annually. Consumers are encouraged to enjoy their beverages however being more mindful in how they dispose their plastic bottles and taking full advantage of their Mission Pacific program.
The program is supported by Motibhai’s Sprint and Fiji Water.