THE culture of the throw away package.
This concept was described by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau as one of the worst facets of Western consumerism that people of the Pacific have embraced.
And this was viewed as a major contributor to the current state of the region's rivers, towns and cities.
"Our villages, towns and cities are strewn with litter, our beaches with plastic bottles and plastic bags, and other non-biodegradable containers of every kind," Ratu Epeli said yesterday at the opening of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in Suva.
"We can blame the manufacturers for packaging their products in these containers in the first place. But the responsibility for disposing of them properly is solely our own, all of us."
He said if conservation efforts within the region were to be substantial, it had to include a personal decision made by people of the Pacific to dispose of their garbage properly.