Trash Fashion: Samoa Recycling Waste Management Association Tackles Waste With Trashion

A Samoan advocate for recycling and waste management says dealing with waste and pollution is everyone’s responsibility. That’s the message from the Samoa Recycling & Waste Management Association (SRWMA), spearheaded by a Pacific waste management pioneer, Marina Keil.

The association’s goal in promoting sustainable recycling and acceptable waste management practices is part of a drive to transform mindsets and attitudes towards waste. They recently initiated a first for Samoa, the Trashion Show, which was hugely popular and influential in raising awareness and changing the way we see rubbish.

Working with the National University of Samoa (NUS), the Trashion show also encouraged designers to consider sustainable fashion, be innovative and see the world of opportunities in dealing with waste.

“One man’s trash can become one man’s treasure,” Ms. Keil said, “the opportunities are endless.”

SRWMA was established in 2018, and has been at the forefront of promoting the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Plus Return. It has also become the voice of the recycling industry in addressing the problem of low value waste that is recyclable, such as plastics, e-waste, glass, waste oil, and end of life vehicles.

Ms. Keil is realistic and admits that there is a lot of work to be done given the threat of increased waste and pollution on Pacific people. She says they have pledged to continue to do their part and they are encouraged by the progress thus far. For instance, in June this year, SRWMA pledged to collect one million plastic bottles for recycling overseas.

Ms. Keil, is calling on everyone to be part of the solution by working to reduce, reuse, and recycle for a cleaner greener and healthier Pacific.

She will be one of the participants at the Third Clean Pacific Roundtable (3rdCPRT), held virtually from 16 – 25 November and is excited about the 3rdCPRT.

“The CPRT is a very important meeting. It promotes regional exchanges and national cooperation to achieve strategic goals,” she said. “It also facilitates networking, so it’s a platform to meet donors and stakeholders around the Pacific and a good opportunity to form partnerships, explore additional resources, investment opportunity so we can work together to ensure a cleaner Pacific.”


Image credit: An outfit made of recycled bottle caps: SRWMA