3 Nov 2008

UN agency points to waste crisis in Pacific

7:25 pm on 3 November 2008

The United Nations Environment Programme, the UNEP, says that the Pacific region is facing a litter crisis due to inadequate treatment of domestic waste water and inadequate solid waste disposal.

The Fiji Times reports that the warning follows estimates by the United States Academy of Sciences that over 13,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square kilometre of ocean surface.

The UNEP has warned that waste is as much of a problem to the Pacific as rising sea levels, over-fishing, water shortages and inadequate sanitation services.

In its Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) report, the UNEP says that pollution of water supplies is becoming a region-wide issue.

The report claims an increasing number of Pacific islands ports are becoming heavily choked with domestic and industrial rubbish while coastline are being clogged with plastics.