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Ocean Waste Management: Tahiti’s willing to help - 09/06/2039

Towards the end of 2010 and the beginning of the 2020s, different technologies for ocean waste collection had been successfully implemented and had begun to address the important problem of drifting waste in the Pacific Ocean.

A continent-sized waste zone had created enough public concern and emotions to trigger individual initiatives leading to concrete projects such as the world-famous Boyan Slat.

This project was quickly put in place but once the collection began, there was still to answer the question of the treatment of this waste, once out of the ocean.

For several years, trash was seen as a terminal problem, without real gain for the country that would have agreed to recover them.

This was the usual mindset until mentalities changed enough to see wastes as potential value-added items and not as finite elements of an outdated cycle.

As a result of this change in mentalities, several local organizations have begun to advocate for ocean waste and set up a local recovery and recycling system.

Indeed, for a long time, the problem of recycling in Polynesia was strongly hampered by the fact that we were not producing enough waste to create a profitable recycling sector at the local level.

It was therefore necessary to find a way to have enough raw materials to develop a sector with high potential for economic development.

This will now be done, the government having signed a memorandum of understanding with the consortium in charge of the collection to accommodate ocean waste.

A reprocessing plant will be built in the next two years. But as of next month, the waste will begin to be stored on the Moruroa Atoll before being transformed to start a second life and participate in the reduction of pollution on a global scale.

The government's decision was welcomed by the Pacific Islands Forum and Polynesia, with its current industrial sector that could have the potential to present itself as a hub for waste processing.

A chance for local economic development because the government project will be content to produce a new raw material, made available to local companies to produce various consumer goods exported throughout the Pacific region.

Enough to develop job opportunities for different levels of qualification since the project will require both the skilled worker and the creators and designers of new products, adapted to the island demand.

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