BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islands is among Pacific nations which contribute up to 13 million tonnes of plastic reaching the ocean threatening marine bio-diversity every year.
Across the Pacific, a Great Pacific Garbage Patch has collected an estimated of 13 million plastics, and rivers are described as main highway for plastic litter.
With the huge pollution of plastic in the ocean, scientists believe it will take 400 to 1000 years to break up.
According to the UN Environment, 13 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute.
A recent study found that when corals come in contact with plastic, the likelihood of disease shoots up from 4 percent to 90 percent.
In the Solomon Islands context, more plastics in our ocean will be detrimental to marine wildlife, to the planet and to humans.
Also it will threaten the country’s economy as we rely as well on marine resource particularly the fishing industry.
Solomon Islands can help manage plastic pollution in the ocean through the 3R method.
Reduce drastically the amount of single-use plastics you use; switch to containers and other convenience items you can reuse; and recycle what you no longer need.
As SIG’s step towards addressing the plastic pollution, the director of Environment Mr Joe Horokou said they are currently reviewing the current Environment Act to be able to deal with the issue of plastics.
He said firstly they will do a review on the environment act and look at various options available, and any changes will need to be reflected in the principal Act and the regulations.
Horokou encouraged citizens to apply the 3R method as the best option for managing single plastics before it reaches our ocean.
Chief Conservation Officer for the Ministry of Environment Agnetha Vave Karamui, said Solomon Islands government through its Ministry already teaching waste management as part of the syllabus for certain subjects.
Ministry of Environment ensures waste management is taught in the school syllabus but to make it more effective schools should not only teach waste management but also practise waste management.