Traditionally, solid waste was never a problem. Everything we used could be thrown away and would rot or be eaten by animals. Very little was imported to our island. Now that we import so many things with all of their packaging and chemicals, we have a huge waste problem. Where are we going to put it when nobody wants to live near a rubbish dump? What will happen to our marine life if we put it in the sea or if it pollutes our water? We’re producing so much rubbish that WE HAVE TO CHANGE WHAT WE NORMALLY DO. We can no longer expect our rubbish to rot. Most of it (plastic, glass etc) doesn’t rot away. And we have to start behaving like our old people: we have to make use of nearly everything and throw little away. Here is what we must do:
Reduce – reduce the waste we produce by buying products with minimal packaging or buying in bulk
Reuse – look at all the useful things we are throwing away
Recycle – this is a traditional way of life, but today it includes factories which can make new things out of old plastic bottles, glass etc. to make new things, allowing us to use things over and over again.
One more action that the Te Ipukarea Society Inc. likes to add is: Rethink – because this is the first and greatest step. Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reference: Pupuka, 1995. Rubbish No More. Coconut Free Press, Coromandel.