Vanuatu’s Bold Move: How a Small Pacific Island Nation Drastically Cut Plastic Pollution

For generations, the people of Erakor village in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu enjoyed swimming in their local lagoon. Ken Andrew, a local chief, fondly recalls diving into its depths as a child, chasing the fish that thrived in its turquoise waters.

But now, at 52, Andrew has witnessed a troubling transformation: plastic pollution invading the lagoon. “The plastic would form a small island inside the lagoon; it was so thick,” Andrew recalls. “We used fishing nets to pull some of the trash out, but we didn’t know how to get rid of it all. We couldn’t conquer it; there was just too much.”

As residents struggled to clear Vanuatu’s waters of plastic, the country’s politicians began to explore a more proactive approach: tackling the waste directly at its source.

Small island nations like Vanuatu face unique challenges regarding plastic pollution. Many rely heavily on imported goods, leading to a constant influx of plastic packaging. Additionally, ocean currents bring plastic waste from across the globe into Pacific waters, where it ultimately washes up on the shores of these islands.

Recognizing the severity of the issue, the community’s outcry led the government to implement a ban on certain single-use plastic products. This decisive action has been instrumental in drastically cutting down the plastic pollution that once choked Vanuatu’s beautiful lagoons. Read More

News Credit: The Guardian

Picture Credit: @ Didier Marti/Getty Images

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