DISPOSING OF WASTE ON A 77 SQ MILE ISLAND

June 1st, 2010, posted by Shore Crew Tags: Islands, Recycling, Waste

Christin recently got in touch with us from the American Samoa Coastal Management Program to give us an update on the waste issues that this small island nation faces:

“American Samoa is a United States territory, located merely seventy-seven miles southeast of Plastiki’s current coordinates (in the sovereign state of Samoa). American Samoa’s approximately 77 square miles of limited land and resources, coupled with its remoteness (more than 3,000 miles from the nearest continent, Australia), emphasizes the need for self-reliance, sustainability, and resource management. Unfortunately, the cradle-to-grave model of waste disposal leaves coasts, roads, and watersheds lined with plastics, bottles and cans.

At present, waste management is limited in American Samoa. The only means of recycling is through a single company, GHC Reid Co. LTD, where refunds are given for local beer bottles (Vailima) and aluminum cans. These items are lumped and shipped off-island for reusing or recycling.

As a small and nearly closed system, islands present a unique opportunity to develop creative ways to deal with waste. Currently, the American Samoa Coastal Management Program (ASCMP) and Governor’s Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG) are searching for creative solutions to waste management. We are looking to learn from other Pacific Island Nations about their successes and challenges in developing waste management programs. We are all but tiny specks in the great Pacific Ocean (Pacific- meaning peace promoting). Let us lead the way in creating a system of balanced living, where we can reach equilibrium of input and output and set an example for larger land masses, ecosystems, and the planet as a whole and unified entity. The Plastiki expedition is a tangible example of how innovation and creativity can produce real solutions. Let’s get creative! We would love to hear your ideas, experiences, and advise. E-mail us: Christin.reynolds@doc.as , hideyo.hattori@doc.as”

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  1. Jon Nyhus says:

    Sustainability was what I heard David Rothschild speak about on the Zeitgeist 2007. How is it that cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles get to the island first of all? Whoever sells it should have to recycle it. Second of all ships I would imagine are what bring in extra goods to the island other than flights which are expensive. I should think that those who make the goods should be able to find a solution for the ever expanding problems of people dumping waste into the ocean. Wait though as that would allow people to have freedom of thought to prevent the careless attitudes and immoral corporate attitudes that prevail. What people do is a direct effect of what people are taught. Throw away society is what we live in. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he feeds the world around him. Diseducation is what I call Western Education systems. Allowing oneself to have no respect and no remorse for ones actions. Taught experiences is where the disaffect comes from.