In an effort to protect the ocean – women from Galoa village in Serua are converting discarded plastic bottles into jewelry and decor.
This is part of the South Pacific Tourism Organization’s plastic repurposing initiative, which contributes to women’s economic empowerment and protection of the marine ecosystem.
Villager Meredani Pei says the waters of Galoa is designated for Fiji’s shark reef marine reserve and they’re using their skills to protect the species from plastic pollution.
“They saw us as the best place to change plastic because it goes back into the ocean and the fish they feed on them so we always picked up rubbish from the shore and then we get plastics from the hotels instead of telling them to throw it away – and we use our tools and do all kinds of jewelry.”
SPTO’s Tourism Development Manager, Christina Leala Gale says the project aims to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14 which is life below water.
“The whole purpose of SPTO getting involved is to have that voice or create that platform for tourism to be more sustainable by involving private sector from the hotel sector and bringing in together the women from our local communities to work together in protecting the oceans.”
The women are now making use of various platforms to not only sell their products but also advocate on the importance of keeping the ocean clean.
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