11 Nov 2011

Samoa's Manono Island beaches cleaned up for tourists and turtles

5:42 pm on 11 November 2011

A waste management expert in Samoa says old tsunami rubbish recently cleared from Manono Island beaches has been positive for locals, tourists and turtles.

A pollution advisor with the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Dr David Haynes, says hundreds of bags of debris were removed by island residents and volunteers.

He says the clean-up was a great chance to educate people about composting and recycling.

He says the project is an important step in helping sea life as well as building tourism.

"The last thing you need is tourist arriving on a boat and having to walk through rubbish I guess. But I think the other important thing from our perspective is that particularly waste plastics can have a really detrimental effect on turtles and they're a very important local species here. We've all seen pictures of marine life, birds and fish and so on, reptiles, with the six pack plastic container around their neck and they're slowly choking to death."

Dr David Haynes says wind and wave action has re-deposited a lot of rubbish back on the shorelines and international ocean litter is a huge ongoing problem meaning communities must be vigilant.