Drinks containers are one of the most littered items in Vanuatu. In the data from our litter surveys drinks containers are often the most common and always in the top five items found. There are several policy options and interventions that the government can implement that have been show to tackle the problem elsewhere in the world. Container deposit scheme (CDS), cleanup campaigns, bans on certain products or packaging, taxes, fines for littering, awareness campaigns are a few examples.
In large countries labels are put on drinks containers that are included in CDSs. One of the impediments to starting a CDS in a country such as Vanuatu is that the market is so small with many imported drinks, that it would be impractical to require label changes to show if a deposit had been paid on a drink. Therefore any drink container can be presented to the scheme for the refund of the deposit even if it was already in Vanuatu before the deposits started. This so called “legacy material” needs to be accounted for in the system so there is enough money to cover the cost of giving people the refund because you can’t tell the difference between a bottle or can which had a deposit paid for it and one that didn’t. To account for them, you need to know how many there are.
We can also try to find funding or buy-backs or incentives cleanups. Again it would be useful to know how many containers there are so we know how much to request from donors and what impact the campaign would make.
VESS has a small grant from the International Coastal Cleanup which is a programme of the Ocean Conservancy to try to answer this question. We have been out and about doing coastline surveys, roadside surveys and interviewing people about drinks containers in their house and in their businesses. The more surveys we do the more accurate the results will be. That’s were you can help.
We are requesting as many people as possible to complete our questionnaire survey. By contributing your opinions and habits to our survey and by simply counting the bottles and other containers in your house or business, you can help us understand more about this issue so we can find a solution that will work for Vanuatu.
All information is much appreciated, from businesses and households big and small!
Participation is voluntary, and information is grouped by island so that no personal or commercially sensitive details will be identified in reports.
This research is funded by a small grant from the International Coastal Cleanup which is a programme of the Ocean Conservancy.
For more information, feel free to contact us on VESS@vanuatuconservation.org with any questions you may have.
If you order or sell drinks for a business (eg shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, island bungalows, BnB’s homestay etc), you can access our business survey by clicking the business button below.
For the drinks that you have in your home please complete our household survey by clicking the House button below.
You can complete the surveys in English or Bislama. If you could complete them by 20th June that would be most helpful.