Reduce straw use

WWF officer North Opeti Vateitei (left) and a Naqumu villager in Macuata sort out plastic waste at the village. Picture: SUPPLIED

MEMBERS of the public in Fiji and the Pacific have been urged to reduce their usage of straws and resort to either cups or wooden straws when taking any form of drinks. While launching the World Environment Day celebrations in the North this week, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Parveen Kumar said Fijians needed to make a commitment to stop using straws. Mr Kumar said people could politely ask for a “no straw serve” when ordering drinks from restaurants or shops. “There is a pledge ongoing and people can sign to the pledge at www.pacificidf.org or visiting the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) page on Facebook,” he said. “You do not have to just sign the pledge — it is about committing to the reason behind the campaign to reduce straws that pollute our environment.” Meanwhile, a statement from the Pacific Islands Development Forum revealed that more than five million plastic straws were used each day in the US alone. The statement said only in the past twenty years, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, in an example of extreme waste being generated for minimal convenience. “These short-lived tools are usually dropped into a garbage can with no further thought, instantly becoming a source of plastic pollution,” the statement said. “Strawless Pacific, an initiative of the Pacific Islands Development Forum’s (PIDF) MyOceanMatters campaign, seeks to add momentum to Pacific efforts, so plastic straws become a relic of the past.

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