5 Nov 2008

Fiji's Chamber of Commerce supports permit for dumping industrial waste

11:08 am on 5 November 2008

Fiji's Chamber of Commerce says it fully supports the introduction of a permit for dumping industrial waste.

According to the 2005 environment act, Fiji businesses will need a permit from next year for discharge such waste or they will face penalties.

The ministry of the environment says the Qawa river was seriously polluted by nearby factories whose waste eventually ended up in the river.

The chamber's acting president, Swani Maharaj, says many businesses will need to make changes, but he welcomes the initiative.

"It'll definitely be an extra cost and they'll be hard hit, but it's important that we preserve our environment and keep our country neet, clean and green an away from pollution, because all sorts of chemicals [we're] exposed to are root causes for various diseases in this country."

Swani Maharaj says the plastics and packaging industry will be hit by the new policy, as will the mining, sugar, and water bottling companies.