Recycling advocates urged to target elders

Pacific Recycling Foundation Founder Amitesh Deo (left), Deputy Speaker and Assistant Minister for Local Government and Housing Lenora Qereqeretabua, Pacific Recycling Foundation Communications Manager Dhanjay Deo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism Viliame Gavoka, Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association Chief Executive Officer Fantasha Lockington, Department of Environment's Principal Environment Officer Kavnil Lal and Tourism Fiji's Chief Operations Officer Leigh Howard at the Global Recycling Day event at the Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

TOURISM Minister Viliame Gavoka has urged local recycling activists and advocates to target elders in Fijian communities who have noticed the drastic changes in the environment before trying to educate the young.

He made the plea in Nadi when officiating at the Global Recycling Day celebrations roundtable discussions in Nadi on Friday. The Deputy Prime Minister explained to hoteliers and passionate environmentalists that village and community elders have witnessed numerous changes to the environment and it would be proper that they were consulted as well.

“It has to come from our elders in the villages who have seen the change in the environmental, they’ve noticed some species of fish that have disappeared,” Mr Gavoka said.

“Remember what it used to be like in terms of our vegetation, the vegetables we eat.

“These are the people that we need to target and then we can educate our younger generation.”

Mr Gavoka said the bulk of the plastics used by men end up in landfill incinerated or leak into the environment and only 9 per cent is successfully recycled.

He said plastic consumption has quadrupled over the last few years in production and doubled in past years.

He added that the usage of plastic is now a great threat to the environment and there is an urgent need for every stakeholder to work together and reach an amicable solution for this environment threat.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will officially launch the Global Recycling Day today.

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