USP Theses Collection


close this section of the library Plastic bags -- Law and legislation -- Fiji

View the PDF document Assessment of impact of single-use plastic bags in a rural Fijian community : perceptions on pollution, utility and policy in Galoa village, Fiji
Author: Leba, Merewati
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Plastic bags -- Environmental aspects -- Fiji, Refuse and refuse disposal -- Environmental aspects -- Fiji, Plastic bags -- Law and legislation -- Fiji
Date: 2015
Call No.: Pac TD 798 .L43 2015
BRN: 1205185
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This study was carried out in the village of Galoa, in the Tikina Batiwai, Serua Province, Fiji for the purpose of assessing the negative and positive impacts of single use plastic bags in a rural Fijian community and to determine how a newly proposed government policy that would limit the availability of single use plastic bags may affect these community members. The research method that was utilised for this rural community was a simple questionnaire survey, which was carried out for a period of three days by a two member research team. The information was collected through a household questionnaire, where random interviews were made to household members within the Galoa village. A total of 34 households in the village were interviewed and the main information that was collected included the village community members’ livelihoods, their current waste disposal practices, problems and benefits associated with their various waste disposal practices and the community members ideas to deal with these waste management issues when the proposed plastic bag law would be enforced. Households were chosen at random. The design of the questionnaire was developed in a way to capture both quantitative and qualitative information. In terms of the quantitative method, some information in the questionnaire was obtained numerically in order to derive descriptive statistical information. Other information was generated qualitatively to explore meanings, processes and explanations from community members. In terms of problems associated with plastics solid waste the majority of the community members agreed that pollution and litter from plastic solid wastes is a real problem whereas a smaller number of community members disagreed. The advantage of plastics is seen that plastics can be burnt for lighting firewood for cooking, compared to using kerosene. Others also highlighted that sometimes these plastic waste was used for making handicrafts such as pencil cases. In terms of the impacts of various types of plastic solid waste disposal such as plastic solid waste burning, some members of the community revealed that they were not aware of the impacts on their lives and to the environment. They have however raised their concerns, with the large amount of smoke that are emitted in the village during the burning process, iv which was normally a big nuisance, very unpleasant to breathe and destroyed the aesthetic look of the village especially when it was a tourist destination. The majority of the community members agreed with and supported the new government initiative and development on the proposed plastic bag policy because they have always been practicing it in their daily lifestyle. They would easily be able to make certain adaptations, such as taking their own recyclable, reusable bag and other alternative storage bags when going for shopping. There were only 9% of the community members who did not support the idea of a new initiative and development on the proposed plastic bag policy. The rural community survey carried out at Galoa village concludes that plastic solid waste pollution is indeed a big issue not only in an urban environmental setting but also in a rural environment setting. The single use plastic bag was found to be contributing to a substantial share to the problem. The Galoa village community supported the idea that this type of plastics (single use plastic bags) should to be controlled first through the newly proposed plastic bag policy, as opposed to the other types of plastic pollutants which are less of a problem.
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