7 Oct 2014

Eco friendly bags encouraged in Solomons

11:52 am on 7 October 2014

Solomon Islanders are being encouraged to create their own eco-friendly bags for shopping, as a way to reduce plastic bag waste.

Last week the Solomon Islands government, with help from the Japanese government, launched the eco-bag alternative pilot programme.

The permanent secretary of the ministry of environment, Melchoir Mataki, says a number of eco-bags have been made and can be bought for a little over US$1.

However, he says the intention is that the public use those bags as a model to make their own, using old materials.

"For a developing country like the Solomon Islands, we really need to work on sharing the responsibility of managing waste, and the best that we could do is to come up with small initiatives like this, whereby people are encouraged to take that responsibility."

Dr Mataki says plastic waste is a huge problem, making up 12 percent of Honiara's waste stream, with plastic litter everywhere including deep in the ocean.