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Pacific island solutions to waste to be discussed at BUEI event

Rafael Bergstrom, the executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, is to deliver a talk on waste management in Hawaii (Image supplied)

Waste management, Hawaiian-style, will be examined as part of a series of talks on the environment organised by the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

Rafael Bergstrom, the executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, will explain how his organisation has changed the way waste is managed in the Pacific archipelago, a US state.

A BUEI spokeswoman said: “The Hawaiian archipelago is 2,000 miles south west of the United States.

“Hawaii’s proximity to the United States is uniquely comparable to Bermuda, 600 miles due east of the United States.”

She added: “Hawaii also faces a similar challenge to Bermuda of high importation of goods to their island — a major factor in waste management.“

Mr Bergstrom will deliver the talk — the second instalment of BUEI’s eight-part Island SOS series — on March 26 at 4pm.

He will explain how SCH has changed the way waste was managed through its Sustain Events Programme, which operates waste-diversion systems for large and small-scale events to prevent waste from going to landfill sites.

Karla Lacey, the BUEI chief executive, said: “In Bermuda, the majority of our goods are imported, making waste diversion a critical strategy to protect our beautiful environment.

“As Covid regulations begin to relax and larger events are able to take place, incorporating environmentally conscious choices when planning events is imperative.

“Hosting a sustainable event can reduce environmentally hazardous goods being imported to Bermuda, thus mitigating the level of pollution in the first instance.”

Ms Lacey told the public: “If you are interested in events management or eco-friendly living, you won’t want to miss this presentation.”

SCH was launched in 2010 by a group of eight people with an interest in the environment.

It has grown to include a small full-time staff backed by a large team of volunteers and concentrates on major coastal clean-ups, public education and waste diversion.

SCH has mobilised 30,000 volunteers, who have cleaned up more than 600,000lb of waste, since its foundation.

The Island SOS programme, sponsored by insurance giant Chubb, was designed to focus on different islands and topics including beach management master planning, zero waste event management and campaigns for environmental protection.

The events are held in front of a live audience in the BUEI’s Tradewinds Auditorium, with overseas guests presenting online in real time.

The talks, held once a month from February to September, include a question-and-answer session.

Other islands to be featured include Barbados, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Isle of Man and Tobago.

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Published March 21, 2022 at 7:45 am (Updated March 21, 2022 at 7:45 am)

Pacific island solutions to waste to be discussed at BUEI event

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