About Vanuatu Recyclers & Waste Management Association

What do we do?

The Vanuatu Recyclers and Waste Management Association consists of businesses and organisations, registered in Vanuatu, that have had a demonstrable association with recycling, waste management, waste minimization or commercial waste production for at least 12 months. The goals of the VRWMA are to assist waste producers (retailers and manufacturers)to reduce waste they produced by ensuring they are aware of opportunities that arise, and to create and improve systems and infrastructure for waste streams that have potential to be recycled.

Our vision:

An active and sustainable recycling & waste management industry in Vanuatu that reduces the environmental footprint of waste and capitalises on innovation and opportunities.

Our Story

On Independence Day in July 2017 Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, recently returned from the UN Ocean conference, announced Vanuatu would be banning single use plastics. One year on, single use plastic shopping bags, plastic straws and polystyrene takeaway containers were banned. The second phase came into effect at the end of 2018, banning 7other un-necessary single use plastics. Prior to the Ocean Conference, there were voices in our community calling attention to marine plastic pollution. We saw petitions to ban plastic bags. There were litter cleanups that demonstrated the problem was real for Vanuatu and not just the rest of the world.

However, it was the government’s commitment to tackling plastic pollution that has created the momentum that gave rise to VRWMA. In March 2019 a meeting was called for people interested in the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The meeting was facilitated by JPRISM, which is funded by JICA. From that meeting our association was born. We are comprised of civil society organisations, recyclers and businesses committed to reducing their environmental impact. Our aim is to work together to find solutions that work for the environment, the people and the businesses of Vanuatu. Our vision is to create a platform where civil society and businesses can work closely with government and international donors to find solutions that will work in and for Vanuatu.