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Vanuatu’s foreign minister says a national audit currently underway will help determine the next stages of the country’s plastics ban.

Ralph Regenvanu said the audit would also examine ways of reducing plastic use, recycling and alternative materials.

He said the ultimate goal is to eliminate all single-use plastics going into the ocean.

“There’s going to be a number of options. There are some items we can obviously ban outright like we did with the three items we just banned. But then of course there’s options for container return, return and deposit schemes.

“That’s seems to be something that is very successful in other jurisdictions. Having a levy which is charged and then people get given a refund for the return of a particular item.”

Read the full article here.

By Radio New Zealand

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Solar Heaters

Thermal Solar water heating systems (MonoSun Technology Co.,Ltd. Advanced Solar Power,Phuket)

“The numbers of guests have doubled because thanks to the solar panels, the guest houses have functioning showers and warm water is made available for kitchen use,”says Marie Marku from Theth National Park in Albania.

Solar thermal systems use the sun’s light energy to heat water and can be especially efficient in heating water in areas where sunlight is abundant.  The technologies on the market are efficient and highly reliable, making solar power a simple, cost-effective, and sustainable means of heating water. Not only do solar heaters work well in areas where no other water heating options are available, it can also help to reduce operating costs and increase competitiveness. Many hotels in USA and the UK are using different forms of solar energy, with solar heaters as the most common form.

Using solar heaters can be particularly effective in Small Island States as most islands rely almost entirely on imported liquid fossil fuels for energy generation, with high costs of electricity. UNEP recently published a paper, “Solar Water Heating in the Tourism Industry with a Focus on the Caribbean Region,” highlighting the potential contribution of solar heating to reduce carbon emissions.

Facing increasing pressure to improve environmental performance and sustainability, using solar heating can be an efficient solution. Are you one of the businesses to use solar heaters for sustainability and efficiency purposes? If not, what are you waiting for?

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