This compendium of Pacific Country and Territory Profiles in the solid waste and recycling sector is published as a key element of a research study commissioned by PRIF in 2017 - the Regional Resource Circulation and Recycling Network project, which seeks to identify and quantify the opportunity to improve the resource recovery of fifteen common commodities present in the solid waste stream in fifteen Pacific island countries and territories. The increasing presence of plastic marine debris in the South Pacific Ocean is focusing attention on strengthening recycling policies and systems in the region. Pacific island countries face significant challenges in providing sustainable management systems for an increasing and diversifying range of waste materials, driven mainly by changing urbanization patterns, globalized markets, wealth redistribution, and the resultant changing lifestyles.
The profiles were prepared detailing country-specific information which was used to inform other elements of the research. The first phase of the study conducted a material flow analysis of imports and exports, estimated the available materials for recovery, and quantified the expected increase in commodities based on various policy interventions. The study also identified waste disposal infrastructure and service provision, reviewed current institutional frameworks, identified port infrastructure and shipping logistics, and estimated plastic marine debris in the Pacific nations. The study examined further the potential to establish a regional network to improve the recovery, and where feasible, recycling of solid waste, in a manner that meets economic, social, and environmental objectives.