Fiji has a problem… it’s filthy.

Recently, a facebook photo group I’m a member of had a “7 in 7” challenge – take 7 images in 7 days. I never intended for all the images to be about rubbish, but because it was a subject that I could find anywhere, it just became that.

Below are the images that I took over the course of the week.  Click on the images to see the descriptions that I posted along with them.

Litter is a massive problem in Fiji, and it seems like nothing is being done to fix it.  There is a anti-litter law that is over a decade old, but no one enforces it.  In any case, the fine isn’t much of a deterrent.

Finding a solution would need a huge push in educating the masses, as well as possibly changing the fine for individuals to actual community hours picking up rubbish.

On the government level, Fiji is minting it with a 6% “Environmental” tax – soon to be 10% – that is charged by the Hotel/Tourism industry and the larger Restaurant chains around the country.  Yet it seems, none of that money is being put into actually doing something about caring for the environment.  It’s a running joke, but sadly a very unfunny one.

Next month, a 10c surcharge per plastic bag is being introduced in an attempt to reduce the use of plastic bags… but just this as a measure is woefully inadequate.

Garbage collection services are really only in urban areas, so for much of the country, there is no responsible option for how/where to dispose of rubbish.

A plastic bottle return programme would go a huge way in cleaning up the country, but nothing like it seems to be on the horizon.

Something needs to be done Fiji. The scary thing is, as bad as it all looks now, it’s definitely going to get a whole lot worse before we can even hope for it to get better 🙁

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4 thoughts

  1. Terrible 🙁 I saw something similar in many Southeast Asian countries. I’m moving to Fiji next month and wondering – is there an official waste management system (frequent trash pickup days)? Or is this pure laziness/part of the culture?

    • There are varying levels of managed garbage disposal in the urban areas… if you’re going to be in Suva, then it’s not much of an issue – you will have your designated trash days. The problem is apparent once you move past town boundaries. And yes it is laziness…

  2. Cola vina!

    Thanks for sharing bro, I’m a native Fijian and my people’s attitude towards trash, especially non bio degradable trash is appalling. You may have noticed that traditionally we live for the moment, the past is the past and the future is shouldn’t matter. With climate change being discussed frequently on the radio’s and at grog circles, people have become more aware that by not taking care of their environment they’ve become part of the problem causing climate change. Even though it may be small, but it still has an impact on the fragile eco-system.

    Keep up the good work, and we need this to be plastered all over Fiji, in schools, villages….pretty much everywhere…hehe.

    Vina valevu

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