Waste management problems, particularly plastic pollution (macro and micro), are more acute on islands because of their distance from the continent and geographical constraints, they lack adequate storage facilities, financial resources and treatment facilities whose critical profitability size (financial and technical) is often incompatible with the amount of waste generated. Poor waste management can lead to sanitation problems, to the degradation of soil, water, land and marine environments, as well as landscape quality, affecting the attractiveness of the site and life on the island. Waste accumulation can also be enhanced by tourist influx on the island and significant seasonal variations.
THEREFORE, PARTNERS MUST AT LEAST:
- Assess, characterise and monitor waste flow on the island – origin, typology, quantity, toxicity.
- Reduce waste quantity and toxicity at its source: favouring bulk purchases and limiting packaging of goods imported from the mainland, replacing individual packets (restaurants, hotels) with non-plastic containers (no single use products), favour large containers to transport water from the continent (if applicable). avoid using small individual plastic bottles.
- Set up infrastructure to collect, store, sort and pre-treat different types of waste, limiting and streamlining transport.
- Manage and treat all bulky waste and non-toxic organic waste on the island with the basic principles of circular economy (such as green waste com-posting, reuse of construction waste for new materials, using agricultural residues to produce energy, etc.).
- Keep toxic waste off the island (export to the mainland) (waste oils, batteries), and health care waste that could be infectious.
- Conditioning (compacting) and exporting packaging and plastics, as well as all non-bulky waste that will be enhanced on the continent in recycling channels.
- For remote islands (costly transfers), store ultimate non-hazardous waste – that is, waste that is no longer usable, either by recycling or by energy recovery – if it is geologically favourable (natural soil imperviousness, no groundwater) or incinerate them with possible energy recovery. NB: be careful, incineration requires a great deal of control and expertise to avoid toxic fumes and to manage bottom ashes and smoke treatment residues).
- Regularly make all island users aware of these measures and the eco-citizen habits they can achieve.
- If there is a port on the island: keep a maintenance zone with the possibility for users (fishermen, boaters) to manage their waste and limit throwing waste at sea.
AND PROGRESSIVELY AIM TO:
- Monitor all waste exports from the island, including toxic waste, to ensure that the waste is properly treated and processed on the continent. if there is no waste treatment process nearby on the mainland, make sure to know the storage areas and, if possible, opt for selective storage for possible future treatment.
- Re-use various materials (creating resources, repair workshops and artistic transformation workshops).
- Prohibit tourists from importing waste (on a daily basis) to the island (particularly plastic waste) and systematize its re-importation back to the continent.
- If possible, implement measures integrated with water management, e.g. setting up water fountains and reducing the number of plastic bottles using steel bottles, etc.