The Bag that Builds programme will involve some of the schools seen here during the recent Global Recycling Day event. Photo credit: UNDP Samoa

Apia, Samoa – A waste collection system and educational programme known as The Bag that Builds (TBTB) provides an avenue for the British High Commission in Samoa to continue its partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

The British High Commission is increasing its co-financing for the UNDP-implemented Circular Economy for the Recovery of Waste or CERO Waste Programme, a project that seeks to create youth employment through the segregation, collection and recovery of glass, plastic and paper waste. 

Having originally contributed a total of £37,000 in co-financing to the Glass Recovery to Accelerate Circular Solutions in Samoa (GRACSS) component of the project, the UK has extended its assistance by an additional £10,000, this time to support the roll-out of The Bag That Builds collection system and educational programme for plastic waste. 

“The British High Commission is delighted to be supporting this excellent initiative that will mark an important step forward in controlling Samoa’s growing plastic waste problem. We are impressed with the expertise and vision that the UNDP team has already shown in this area, and look forward to expanding our partnership with them,” said Ian Richards, Acting British High Commissioner to Samoa.

Conceptualised by the Centre for Regenerative Design and Collaboration, TBTB programme will see primary and secondary schools in the Apia Urban Area being provided with specific rubbish bags to segregate their plastic waste, which will then be collected and transported to a processing facility to convert the material into an aggregate capable of partially replacing natural sand in the manufacturing of concrete products.

The programme strategically targets the engagement of children and youth and seeks to build their awareness and capacity to segregate plastic waste at source, whilst nurturing their catalytic potential to become community advocates for circular economy solutions. 

“Whilst providing a potential solution that prevents more plastic waste from entering the landfill or the environment, what is most exciting and potentially transformational about TBTB programme is the involvement of the future custodians of Samoa’s natural heritage, children and youth,” said Verena Linneweber, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and Officer in Charge. 

A series of meetings has already been carried out between the project team and the principals of the selected schools who will take part in the project, and they have lent their full support towards TBTB.

-ENDS-

For media queries, please contact: 

Laufaleaina Lesa, UNDP Multi Country Office, Samoa|Tel. +685 23670|

E: laufaleaina.lesa@undp.org | www.ws.undp.org  

Tise Fauolo-Siaosi, British High Commission Apia, Samoa | www.gov.uk 

E: tise.fauolo@fco.gov.uk | Ph: +685 767 3363 |   @UKinSamoa   @UKinSamoa

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