Forum to highlight practical solutions

Roger Hare, Don Thomson, Jeff Maguire, Doug Woodring during the Pacific Plasticity event at GPH yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

ONE of the major challenges facing small Pacific Island nations is getting waste off the islands.

This was one of the issues highlighted at the 11th Global Plasticity Forum, Plasticity Pacific, held at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva yesterday.

Plasticity director Trish Hyde said there was a lot of scope for plastic-made materials to be used in the construction industry and stressed that reducing the problem of plastics in the environment could be done through collaboration between the government, private sector and the donor agencies.

Setting the mood for the forum yesterday, Ms Hyde said there was a need for regional solutions and methods to deal with the plastic pollution in the Pacific.

Plasticity founder Doug Woodring said by bringing this event to Fiji they really believed in that the islands could be leaders for the world.

Mr Woodring said globally there were innovations which were being made using plastic but such innovators were not keen on coming to the Pacific based on the fact that these were small markets.

He said Fiji was a great example for such innovations because the momentum was already here with the government keen on reducing its plastic problem and the forum would raise further awareness on the options available for reusing plastic.

Earlier Mr Woodring had said: “This is not a clean-up campaign. Plasticity speaks directly to the business world, introducing practical sustainability models, and showcasing new business opportunities for transforming plastic waste into valuable second-life resources. “Delegates come away with a profound understanding of the scale of opportunities that this problem presents. That’s when people get really excited. “The key to our success is collaboration. Plasticity brings together key stakeholders from all aspects of the value chain — innovators, designers, entrepreneurs, large companies- and gives them the opportunity to take part in the larger global conversation about waste management and resource recovery,” said Mr Woodring. Plasticity was launched in 2012 at the Rio +20 Earth Summit, and has been hosted in Hong Kong, New York, Lisbon, Shanghai, London, Dallas, Los Angeles, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur.

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