Plastics Survey Results

Single-use plastics have become an everyday convenience for many Cook Islanders. The survey shows about 25% of respondents use single-use plastics every day and about 40% use SUPs a few times a week.
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On Wednesday 3rd April 2024, the National Environment Service released a survey to gauge community awareness of single-use plastics (SUP) and understand the needs of retailers and end-users to transition to sustainable alternatives. This survey closed on Wednesday 17th April at 12pm with a total of 373 responses from the general public, tourism operators and retailors/wholesalers.

Single-use plastics have become an everyday convenience for many Cook Islanders. The survey shows about 25% of respondents use single-use plastics every day and about 40% use SUPs a few times a week. However, almost all respondents were aware of the environmental impacts SUPs have on the natural environment and are actively trying to reduce their plastic usage. The survey unveiled many respondents struggle to find alternative options to plastic food packaging, with many responses stating “everything comes wrapped in plastic in the stores.” Respondents in the tourism section had similar responses, stating that the biggest challenge they face is finding suitable alternative options that can meet their industry needs.  Across the general public, tourism and retailers’ section, there was a call for more available alternative food packaging in the market to successfully transition out of plastic consumption.

All information collected will be used to inform the RESPONSE project which aims to reduce single-use plastics entering the Cook Islands via the food and beverage industry. A summary of the survey results are available here.

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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