Significant plastic waste following Tonga eruption response

Posted on 26 April 2022

Since the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted in Tonga in January, killing four people, the Pacific nation has received more than 200 shipping containers of aid supplies, including 86,000 bottles of water. “The [international] assistance brought just over 114,600 litres [of water] that came in plastic bottles meaning about 86,000 water bottles of 1.5 litres,” stated Siaosi Sovaleni, Tonga Prime Minister.  “This number is staggering because of the time frame, within one month.”
While the aid has been essential and welcome, especially given concerns about ashfall affecting drinking water especially, it has left Tonga with a significant issue: what to do with the waste?

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