Azure Pure Water and World Vision Vanuatu are pleased to announce the launching of our 3-year partnership to expand and re-invent the economics of plastic recycling in Vanuatu.
In January 2018, the Vanuatu Government (GoV) officially banned the importation of single-use plastic bags and straws. As part of this policy objective, GoV has stated that they are investigating levies on plastics importers and additional plastic product bans in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste in Vanuatu waterways.
Building on this impetus from the Government and Azure Pure Water’s established recycling program, World Vision will leverage funding from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to extend plastic waste collection and recycling in Vanuatu in partnership with Azure Pure Water.
In August 2017, Azure opened Vanuatu’s first plastic bottle buy-back and recycling program, recognising their responsibility to provide viable and sustainable waste management for their products whilst continuing to provide employment opportunities for Ni-Vanuatu. This program aimed to address the growing plastic waste problem in the Pacific Islands and a lack of recycling technology available in Vanuatu by starting in Azure’s own backyard. Currently, Azure bottles are subject to a 5-vatu rebate when returned after which they are compacted and stored to be sent to Australia for inclusion in VISY’s Bottle to Bottle recycling program. In late-2017, China announced the sudden closure of its doors to international waste recyclers, setting the stage for a growing trend of countries needing to manage their own waste effectively.
During the first year of partnership, Azure and World Vision will partner to expand the Azure “Give Me 5” recycling program to include collection of and rebates for other types of single-use plastic products (i.e. cosmetic containers, cleaning product bottles, etc). Azure will host and manage the recycling program as well as working with the Vanuatu Government and other industry leads to advocate for official recognition and investment in the recycling program, leading to long-term sustainability. World Vision and Azure will develop awareness and training materials to socialise the new program in the greater Port Vila area. World Vision will also work directly with four major communities totalling 6000 people, including Etas where the municipal tip is located, to increase knowledge about the need for and value in plastic recycling and assist youth to develop small business around plastic collection and recycling. Our aim is to change public perception around plastic waste, by encouraging a reframing of thinking towards plastic waste being an opportunity for revenue generation in small communities.
During the second year of the partnership, Azure and World Vision will begin trialling innovative plastic transformative technology suitable for Vanuatu with the goal of creating a circular economy where plastic waste is recovered as a practical resource to create economic opportunities through handicraft creation. Through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership funded by the Australian Government to increase disaster risk reduction in the Pacific, World Vision have engaged the innovative engineers at Field Ready to assess the plastic value chain in Vanuatu with an eye to creating strong, safer recycled plastic products locally for disaster risk reduction (i.e. water containers, aggregate for building blocks and roads, etc.).
Azure and World Vision look forward to collaborating with GoV and all partners in the Vanuatu waste management sector to expand plastic recycling for a cleaner, safer Vanuatu, and welcome interest from local manufacturers and businesses seeking to support the longevity of this exciting and innovative program.
For more information about this partnership, please contact:
Waste Not, Want Not Program Manager
World Vision Vanuatu
Director Sales and Marketing
Azure Pure Water
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