Editorial comment | When kids pick up after adults

International Primary School Suva students, participates in the beach clean up at the My Suva Picnic Park along the Nasese forseshore in Suva on Tuesday, June 06, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Laisenia Ratu is right when he says adults should be ashamed for having kids come out and pick up after them. Well, many adults that is!

That is the way a lot of people will think given the extent of littering happening around us Mr Ratu, an International School Suva (ISS) oceans and literacy division member made the statement after a group of about 70 Year Two students from ISS and Veiuto Primary School organised a clean-up around My Suva Picnic Park yesterday.

It was part of World Environment Day and was held ahead of World Ocean Day on Thursday.

The children, under the supervision of their teachers, collected over 10 trash bags filled with plastic, household waste, and glass, which littered the area and mangroves.

Mr Ratu said the mind-set to dump rubbish in such a manner needed to end.

“We are out here with the children collecting rubbish mainly around the park that the public usually comes to and it is a shame,” he said.

“It is really sad that now our kids are coming to pick this for us. The only thing that is best for our nation is to be educated about rubbish disposal.

“It is not just the small pieces of rubbish, but some people are coming with their household rubbish, throwing it on the beach and it’s a very sad thing to see.”

Indiscriminate littering by adults, he remarked, would filter down to their children, because they learnt what the adults were doing, and this behaviour would in turn be passed down over the generations.

ISS primary ocean co-ordinator Hannah Nanovu said it was important to inculcate good habits such as care for the environment and correct methods of rubbish disposal from a young age.

Veiuto Primary School Year Two teacher Kiataniware Mollie said it was a good opportunity for children to see the impact of littering on the environment.

Once again, we look up to the powers that be to create awareness about the importance of our environment, and the value we must place on keeping it clean.

However, in saying that, we are reminded about our own role in protecting our environment, and our responsibility to keep this safe for our future generations.

We must then ask why are Fijians still discarding their rubbish without a second thought for the environment?

Why are some Fijians still throwing away used takeaway packs, empty soft drink bottles and other rubbish indiscriminately?

Why are people still spitting chewing gum on our pavements, and discarding their cigarette butts anyhow?

Why are Fijians throwing used wrappers for chewing gum, used packets for peanuts and peas, used roti parcels, used wrappers for restaurant food, used flip-flops, and other rubbish away from a proper rubbish bin?

Why can’t we all use a rubbish bin to discard rubbish? We need to ask this question and look within ourselves to determine how much we value our environment.

Otherwise, as Mr Ratu said, a lot of people should be ashamed for letting children pick up after them!

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