Honiara, Solomon Islands, 27 October 2019 – THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), relevant national stakeholders and representatives from five schools in Honiara took part in the final validation workshop within the “Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initiative”, in Honiara on Tuesday 26th November 2019.
Koloale, Florence Young, Emmaus, St Nicholas and Honiara High School have been part of an experiment which applied behavioural insights methods. For 13 weeks, starting in late July, two schemes were introduced in schools during lunch times to reduce single use plastic: Deposit Return and Discount Schemes. The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) students were also actively engaged in collecting data and analysis arising from this test trial.
Results of this experiment are interesting and promising: for instance, the Deposit Return scheme showed that most students brought back the reusable containers after finishing food to collect a small deposit back from the vendors. The Discount Scheme was most successful amongst kindergarten and primary school students, while among the secondary school students, it was seen as “not cool” to bring a lunch box from home.
Coping with increasing use of single plastic products and managing waste is a growing concern for Honiara city. As this trial shows, changing behavior and raising awareness offers new ways for addressing this challenge across Solomon Islands.
The findings of this initiative will be captured in a report which will offer useful insights to the Government of Solomon Islands as it implements the national waste management and pollution control strategy. The report also makes a recommendation to phase out single-use plastics in Solomon Islands starting next year.
The Waste Management Innovation Initiative was supported by UNDP, through funding from Government of Denmark in partnership with Government of Solomon Islands (SIG).