3 Institutions to address plastic waste in country

Gas collection system to store liquid fuel
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THREE local Rural Training Centres have developed a system that will deal with the issue of plastic waste in the country.

The three institutions are part of a project partnership with the Solomon Islands Association of Vocational and Rural Training Centre (SIAVRTC) and funded by the the UNDP- GEF Small Grants Progamme.

As part of the implementation by the SIAVRTC, the project will come up the appropriate technology to burn PE, PP, and PET Plastics and turn them to useful fuel.

The partnership was signed in July 2021 and involved three pilot Rural Training Centres namely; Kaotave RTC and St Martin’s RTC on Guadalcanal and St Peters RTC in Gizo, Western province using the systems to turn plastic wastes to energy.

Pyrolysis System

Despite the Covid19 situation, the project was completed and a handover of three pyrolysis systems that will turn plastic wastes into energy for cooking.

The design and technical built of the system was made possible through NuFuels New Zealand, and Design and Technology Centre, a locally owned company.

 Director of the SIAVRTC and coordinator of the project, Billy Mae said the project is significant given that problems with single use plastics which are being thrown in the streets and have become a threat to the environment, including clogging of the drainage systems in Honiara.

Principal of Kaotave RTC, Jimson Iakwe thanked UNDP for the assistance.

Principal of Kaotave RTC

He questioned why “we shift in our adaptation, but not in our attitude when it comes to managing plastic wastes”

He pointed out that “plastic is a serious issue and is everywhere. I believe technology will help reduce plastic waste”

Principal of St Martins, Mr Valerino said he is happy that the pyrolysis systems will be donated to St. Martins RTC to manage plastic waste.

 “Students and staff will learn how to use the system to manage plastic waste and added value”

“Students will use it to cook food by using the fuel extracted from the broken plastic”

 Managing Director of the Design and Technology Centre Lindsay Teobasi during the ceremony demonstrated how the system works.

Lindsay Teobasi

He also pointed that “the biggest issue is how to manage single use plastics from the community level up to the national level”

He said the new system is the beginning of better things to come”

“We need to make a shift in our minds when it comes to management of plastics”

 The project was created to achieve three purposes.

1.       Provide three communities with simple, fit-for-context technology and skills capacity, to reduce plastic waste by converting it into usable energy for their use;

2.      Work with the communities to optimise the benefits from this recovered energy in a way that incentivises waste collection and energy recovery in the long term, and creates local job opportunities;

3.       Fabricate the majority of the three systems in the Solomon Islands in a way that develops employment pathways.

The GEF Small Grants Programme provides financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods. The programme is funded by GEF, executed by UNOPS, and implemented by UNDP.

The GEF SGP continues to assist national NGOs, local communities, and other grassroots organizations to reduce threats to the global environment, to address local environmental problems, and to promote sustainable development.