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NZ donates monetary assistance to the “No Pelesitiki” Campaign

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 29/11/2019

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Tonga has announced $29,632 TOP monetary assistance to the second phase of the “No Pelesitiki” campaign.

The awareness program was launched last year aim to encourage people to use traditional replacement bags instead on the single use plastic bags.

H.E Tiffany Babington says, New Zealand greatly supports the initiative as it has been five months since the banning of single use plastic shopping bags in the country, and hopes the assistance will continue to support such move in Tonga.

I know this funding will be very well used. I’ve seen the results over the past year – obviously you started small but it’s become a national campaign and I am pleased to be able to support the second phase. It will go towards the successful implementation of producing more bags, designing more bags and selling out those bags so they can be used nationwide and as replacement bags for retailers. Tonga has a huge opportunity to ban single use plastic bags and make use of local materials – because not only does it saves money but it also protects our environment. I hope that we can, by all of our joint efforts, help keep Tonga clean and beautiful.”

The campaign is a community initiative led by the All Saints Anglican Church & Fasi Town Council.

The Lead Advocate for the No Pelesitiki campaign, Ms Eleni Levi Tevi talked about the success of the campaign since its launch last year.

A year ago, we had our replacement bags being launched – during the time of the Miss Pacific Islands. It was done specifically at that time to raise the awareness to the outer islands and our neighboring countries that Tonga is also part of this movement to ban the single use plastic.”

A youth advocate for the campaign, ‘Ema Moa talked about programs they’ve participated in as a result of the campaign.

Our trip to the UK was very challenging and we learned a lot from there. We had the chance to join in a conference for climate change and we shared with them our stories of what we, youth members here in Tonga have been doing during cyclone seasons and they were inspired by our stories.”

The campaign hopes to partner up with key government agencies as well as other stakeholders in the fight to preserve the environment and challenging Tongans to STOP using plastics.

© Radio and Television Tonga News