Partnerships with Power
Internationally, plastic pollution and marine debris is one of the largest threats to our marine environments, exacerbated within third world countries, such as Papua New Guinea, where communities rely heavily upon the ocean for sustenance and a healthy ecosystem to produce food. Currently there are no recycling or garbage collection facilities in Milne Bay, the largest marine province of PNG, where the Conflict Island Atoll is located. The only way to remove the rubbish at this stage is to burn it, bury it or throw it into the ocean where it is out of sight.
It is CICI’s and Take 3’s mission to set up recycling systems on the islands, where collected plastics can be recycled into objects and sold to tourists visiting the islands or repurposed into fuel and gas to supplement wood stoves for villagers. Not only does this stop deforestation on these tiny island nations but it can provide additional income streams to the local people and motivation to do the right thing to help protect the natural environment.
The Conflict islands are located centrally between two of the most densely populated parts of Milne Bay, Alotau and Missima. With the generous support of Take 3, CICI have commenced the CICI Plastic Pollution Initiative. Staff of the Conflict Islands conduct a plastic collection every Saturday where marine debris from lighters and plastic water bottles to toothbrushes and sandals are found, not to mention the hundreds and thousands of pieces of microplastics in the sand and embedded in the soils of the island are collected and tallied. The volume of plastic varies with the seasons and winds, but we can remove between 10kgs to 500kgs of plastic waste from any of the 21 islands in a single clean up.