Study aims to reveal sources of plastic waste on Efate’s coastline

USP students from Port Vila's Emalus campus conduct a transect of Eton Beach, Efate looking for plastic waste. Photo: SPREP

USP students from Port Vila’s Emalus campus conduct a transect of Eton Beach, Efate looking for plastic waste. Photo: SPREP

Following on from yesterday’s item that the Salwai Government is planning to ban the import of plastic bottles and bags, comes this welcome news: USP students from Port Vila’s Emalus campus are engaged in a study of the micro and macro plastic waste found on Efate’s Eton Beach. The UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) is leading the research in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and USP. USP’s Bachelor of Science students majoring in chemistry and biology are being trained at Eton Beach in the correct sampling and collecting methodology for studying marine plastic waste. The study aims to determine whether the waste is of local or foreign origin, and to study the ‘plastic life cycle’. International marine waste expert Dr Thomas Maes of CEFAS emphasises how fish consume plastic waste in the oceans, and that we need to make every effort to remove plastic waste from their diet, or it joins our own.

Peace has been re-established between Tongoa and Tanna communities in Port Vila after a disturbance created by a recent obscene rap song produced by young men from the Shepherds in contempt of people from Tanna. Physical clashes have taken place. Vaturisu Chief Henry Manlaewia confirmed that custom reconciliation had taken place last Saturday as had been confirmed by a Tannese chief. He further explained how Efate custom welcomed man kam to settle in the capital, Efate, recognising its pre-eminence from long ago. “Our visitors can come together to relax or do business to develop the country in peace, knowing they are safe”. Chief Manlaewia said. The Head of State welcomed the custom ceremony and thanked everyone for their participation. It appears a serious disturbance has been wisely prevented.

[Updated 2:35pm Thursday 3 August]