By Mike Puia
WESTERN provincial secretary, Jeffery Wickham, encourages environment bodies and groups in the province to roll out awareness about the province’s planned ban on plastics.
Wickham made this call when speaking at the opening of the second meeting of the Western province network for sustainable environment (WPNFSE) in Gizo yesterday.
WPNFSE, which started in 2016, is a body set up to help coordinate non-government organisations and groups in the province.
It was the World Fish that initiated this idea. To date, the WPNFSE has grown.
It is taking the lead in organising the upcoming World Environment Day, World Ocean Day and Coral Triangle Day to be celebrated in Gizo next Wednesday and Thursday.
When giving an update on the province’s plan to ban plastic as of July, Wickham said an ordinance for this ban may not be ready but the executive order is firm for July.
He said while the ban is likely to have an ordinance before next year, groups that are members of the WPNFSE must do awareness.
“Your role is very important. Go out and influence people to change their habit toward plastic use,” Wickham said.
He said getting people to refuse to use plastic will be slow but it is important that the province started pursuing it.
Wickham encourages non-government organisations to roll out awareness in communities and schools, saying this is the key.
He said Commonwealth countries and other nations in the region are imposing bans on plastics and the province is keen to take the lead in this.
“We want to be the first province to ban plastic. If this is successful, other province may follow,” Wickham said.