Global Recycling Day (GRD) provides us with the opportunity to recognise the importance of recycling and preserving our resources to secure the future of our planet, says Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts and Local Government, Honourable Premila Kumar.
Speaking at the Fiji National University-sponsored GRD event by Waste Recyclers (Fiji) Pte Limited in Suva last week, Hon Kumar said Fijians were encouraged to recognise the recycling opportunities available from waste.
“The theme for today’s event ‘I recycle for a circular economy’ could not be more relevant. The time has come to see opportunities from waste and not just wait for the landfills,” Hon Kumar said.
“Recycling is key to a circular economy which helps to protect our precious primary natural resources. Our demand for natural resources has reached unsustainable levels and we continue to extract our natural resources to make new products”
“The pace of extraction is rapidly affecting Earth’s sustainability and if we don’t do anything about it, there will be nothing left for our future generations.”
FNU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Toby Wilkinson added that recycling was a key component of having a sustainable environment and aligned with the University’s vision of becoming a more sustainable institution in its direction and development.
He said the partnership with Waste Recyclers (Fiji) Pte Limited highlighted FNU’s commitment as the national institution.
“As part of the University’s Strategic Plan, we strive to demonstrate leadership in sustainability within the institution and in our communities,” Prof Wilkinson said.
“FNU is proud to be part of this event, which underpins a transition to a cleaner and greener future.”
“As part of our partnership with Waste Recyclers, we were able to also sponsor four informal waste pickers and have them travel from Lautoka to attend the event and acknowledge their contributions in this area.”
FNU Sustainability Committee Chairperson and Director Capital Projects and Infrastructure, Niranjwan Chettiar highlighted that recycling practices were also emphasised in the University’s Sustainability Plan 2021-2026.
“Over the next five years, one of our key targets is the implementation of the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – at all FNU campuses,” Chettiar said.
“We also aim to divert 20 per cent of our waste from landfills through recycling.”
“As part of the University’s core function, we will continue to work on embedding sustainability as part of our curriculum and research, allowing opportunities to utilise FNU Campuses as a living laboratory. “
“Students that graduate from FNU will also gain a greater understanding of the complexities of sustainability and be able to address them in their lives.”