Galoa women turning trash into cash

Galoa Women

In Fiji, a group of 15 dedicated women has been doing their part to create a circular economy by turning plastic trash into cash. Based in the coastal village of Galoa, the Bulikula Women’s Plastics Group was formed four years ago. 

With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the women have been trained in making jewellery and household decorations from various plastics that are “thrown around carelessly”. The training was conducted by creative consultant, Warwick Marlow, who has helped several other Pacific women groups earn a living from the trade.

“Our trainer is of another level. He uses the small cuttings to make cups and he showed us how to do it,” Udite Taukei said proudly. The 66-year-old is the leader of the group and the spouse of the village chief. “I thank UNDP and SPTO for allowing us to take up this project. Apart from the training, we were also provided with the necessary tools and equipment to make the plastic jewellery and decorations.” 

The women meet every Thursday at their community hall where they share creative ways in making and selling their items. Taukei said the women mainly use Vai Wai bottles because “it’s colorful and it stands out.” “We also use other plastic bottles… Fiji Water… Coke… and there is little wastage from the bottles we use,” she said. The price for their products range from as little as FJD$5 to as much as FJD$20. 

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