Refresh, recycle, repeat

MEET 45-year-old Anil Chand of Labasa. Mr Chand has been collecting bottles and cans for 13 years now and found out about the Mission Pacific program through a friend in Labasa.

He lives with his mother, brother and family in Bulileka and earns up to $1000 from collecting 20 big bags of bottles and cans each month.

Mr Chand attended Bulileka Primary School up to Year 8. He stayed at home for a bit helping his mum around the house, then he started selling snacks like bean and later started collecting bottles and cans.

He also continues to sell snacks in between to supplement the family’s income. Mr Chand’s health has not been the best over the years however that does not stop him from continuing with supporting his family and doing his bit for the environment.

Each day Mr Chand collects bottles and cans in Labasa Town, surrounding areas around the town and near Subrail Park especially when there are big games. He has been known to walk from Labasa town to Bulileka Rd which is about six kilometres from town. At the end of the day, he brings his bags home, sorts and repacks before he calls Coca-Cola Labasa to collect his bags of empties bottles and cans every month from his home.

He says he likes collecting bottles and cans because it keeps him busy.

“It also helps me earn money for my family,” said Mr Chand.

“We don’t have to rely on others to help us, we help ourselves and make sure we collect enough to pay for bills, put food on our table and a roof over our heads. This keeps me going.

“We have our own home and we are happy, we can survive off what we do and that makes us very happy.”

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 more than 200 tonnes 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.

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.