Plastic was first introduced in the 1950s and is a common word which refers to manmade chemical compounds such as polystyrene which is used to produce the carry out foam containers and polypropylene used for bottles caps. There are numerous types of plastic used in the world today and found to be a common marine debris around the Pacific (NOAA, 2011). Such that, a growing concern of marine pollution is the increase of disposable plastic items in our oceans. The nation of Fiji depends on the oceans and its resources for food, livelihood and cultural traditions and this will be affected by the rise in disposable plastic items in our Oceans.
According to an article from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,2011), states that plastics will degraded into smaller fragments of plastic debris known as microplastics. These microplastics have been observed by scientist as the accumulation of the improper disposal of plastic in the ocean for at least over the last four decades (Andrady, 2011). Microplastics or plastic being improperly disposed into the ocean will affect the marine life. Marine organisms such as fish species and corals may mistake plastic for food causing starvation, also at least 17% of species are affected by entanglement (Gall & Thompson, 2015), which cause suffocation.
The Plastic Free Fiji Campaign focuses on advocating on the impacts of single use plastic bags and plastic bottles items in the Marine and Terrestrial environment by:
raising awareness and understanding on the impacts of plastic on our marine resources,
Establishing partnership with corporate sectors to champion and promote the reduction in the use of single use plastic bags and provide options for recycling plastic bottles
Engaging with institutions to promote/support the reduction in the use of single use plastic bags and gradually implementing alternatives.
A Plastic Pollution Free Fiji Campaign developed and endorsed by partners
1 corporate body is engaged and has committed to champion the Plastic Free Fiji Campaign
1 Academic Institution has banned the use of single-use plastic bags in its premises and established proper policies and processes in place to recycle plastic bottles
PPF-Fiji Champion has significantly reduced the use of single-use plastic bags and had implemented alternatives that are cost-effective and environmentally sustainable