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Anti-litter campaign

Fred Wesley
Thursday, February 08, 2018

It is encouraging to see a concerted effort by the State to take the lead on keeping our environment clean.

That means attacking litterbugs. It means making a stand and being vocal about protecting our environment.

It means advocating a shift towards sensible disposal of our rubbish, and taking the time to be accountable for actions that could be detrimental to our environment.

As the acting permanent secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Bernadette Welch, said yesterday, we should be keeping our environment clean and beautiful if we wish to attract tourists.

She was reacting to the amount of rubbish collected during the 'Walk in the Park' program at Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve yesterday.

Ms Welch said it was disappointing to find rubbish such as beer bottles and plastic bottles in the area.

"We want the people of Fiji to start thinking about what they can do by stop littering, call people that are littering and also pick up rubbish when they see it.

"We are going to keep doing this to help get the message put there and we are going to see ways, we will try to be innovative but we are going to keep doing it."

Littering is a rather touchy issue for some people, it seems. Laws are in place to curb this filthy habit.

People continue to litter despite the availability of rubbish bins in many of our urban centres. We seem to have habitual offenders. Is it because they are simply too lazy, selfish or inconsiderate to dispose their rubbish properly?

The irony is that some people litter right beneath signboards that warn against littering.

Plastic, empty water and soft drink bottles are major worries for the environment.

Many people throw these indiscriminately when they have no use for them.

Environmentalists believe littering is a nasty side effect of the 'throw-away' or 'convenience oriented' mentalities.

In our urban centres, the burden of litter clean-up usually falls on municipal councils.

Conservation though, starts with the individual.

If conservation efforts within the region are to be substantial for instance, it has to include a personal decision by people to dispose of their rubbish properly.

Change is inevitable even if it isn't easy to accept.

Change will be good for our environment and for everyone.

We should all take the initiative to stop littering as individuals.

As a newspaper, we have started an anti-litter campaign we hope you will embrace, and hopefully it will encourage many people to work together to keep Fiji clean. Together we can.

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