<< previous story  |  next story: Manukau’s new bus station opens >>

MV Coral Chief is one of the CNCo’s vessels servicing the Pacific islands

Exciting recycling possibilities for the Pacific islands

The China Navigation Company (CNCo) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address critical waste management issues in the Pacific islands.


Known as the Moana Taka Partnership, the MOU allows for CNCo vessels to carry containers of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific island ports, pro bono, to be sustainably treated and recycled in suitable ports in Asia Pacific.

“This historic partnership will be of great benefit to our Pacific islands, and one for which we are very appreciative of the China Navigation Company,” says Kosi Latu, director-general of SPREP.

“Our Pacific islands face an immense waste management challenge. With many geographical limitations, the Moana Taka Partnership can help us address the problem of taking our recyclable waste off-island for proper recycling. This is a great step, or shall we say paddle, in the right direction.”

SPREP is the regional coordinating organisation for the protection and sustainable development of the Pacific island environment. Established by its member governments in 1992 to support cooperation and coordination across the region, it is headquartered in Apia, Samoa, and works closely with its 26 member countries and territories to deliver on environmental management and sustainable development in the region.

Recyclable materials

James Woodrow, managing director of CNCo, says China Navigation has provided sustainable shipping solutions to the Pacific islands for 80 years. “Communities in the Pacific islands are facing some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time and CNCo is committed to being part of the solution. As soon as we became aware of the critical need for sustainable waste management in the region, we worked urgently with the SPREP and UN Environment to put this partnership in place.”

Under the agreement, Pacific island countries who have insufficient or inappropriate landfill space to store waste, have inadequate waste treatment facilities, and the financial inability to ship recyclable waste, are eligible for this opportunity. The types of materials that are considered recyclable include plastics, aluminium cans, waste oil and ozone-depleting substances.

The signing of the MOU took place across Samoa and Singapore on 20 March to mark the Global Recycling Day 2018.

Innovative waste management

“Better waste management is absolutely critical for Pacific island nations,” says Erik Solheim, executive director of UN Environment. “Landfills should be the last option and throwing it all in the ocean is not an option. We need to innovate, and this kind of public-private partnership is the way forward. Only when we work together can we overcome one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time.”

Twenty-one countries are eligible for these opportunities: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

Go Back