We were excited to be in Rapa Nui last month, where we joined discussions to move this remote volcanic island towards a circular economy for a more sustainable future. Presenting at the Entrepreneurship and Ecotourism Conference of Rapa Nui, we explored an island with a rich history of environmental challenges. We were able to share our experiences with the local community on how to transform the growing problem of ocean plastic pollution into a positive solution.
Designated as a 'World Heritage Site', the island is special territory of Chile and has garnered protection from governments and conservationists alike. In 2015 Chile made Rapa Nui the world’s largest marine park to date, which has lead to no fishing net use in the area.
Recognized as the most remote island in the world, the coastline is still full of plastic debris and micro-plastics. The island is familiar with the problem of ocean plastics, most of which are drifting ashore from distant currents. In an act to continue inspiring the future generations of the island, we met with local primary schools, helping the students brainstorm solutions to ocean plastic. Their ideas provided solutions for the drifting plastic waste, and led to prevention initiatives, including a mobile app that can inform people where recycling points are on the island.
Overall, the trip was an unforgettable experience where the team was able to understand the island’s history of environmental challenges, and see the tremendous potential for the island to become a sustainability example for the world.