Asia Pacific Waste Consultants (APWC) is a leading international environmental management consultancy, specialising in the solid waste and recycling sector, with a dedicated team of experts who are passionate about improving environmental outcomes in developed and developing economies.
APWC’s focus is on collecting comprehensive baseline waste data to inform legislation, policies, programs, and developing and improving waste management practices, systems and education to reduce the amount of waste on land and entering the oceans. APWC aims to inform appropriate decision making by governments and measure and monitor the outcomes.
APWC has been selected by several national governments and international development agencies to undertake research, audits, assessments, training and capacity building in Asia, the Pacific and further afield, including:
- a landmark project in 2017 to assist in the search for effective and economically viable solutions – researching the potential for recovery of 15 recyclable materials in 15 Pacific countries for multiple aid agencies under the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) – ‘Pacific Region Solid Waste Management and Recycling – Pacific Country Profiles’ report’.
- a pilot global assessment framework in Indonesia and India for a group of the largest global packaging companies.
- fieldwork and analytical projects for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Bank, in countries such as Palau, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Antigua & Barbuda, Belize and South Africa.
- research programs supported by the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom.
APWC is harnessing its accumulated knowledge and expertise to support a growing number of international programs aimed at addressing the waste crisis, particularly the epidemic of plastic pollution threatening the aquatic and marine environment. APWC is a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to reducing the impacts of plastic and offers a scientific, practical, ‘hands-on’ approach to waste management and resource recovery technologies, training, community education and awareness.
APWC has completed twelve projects for the UK Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) under the Commonwealth Litter Programme (CLiP). These detailed surveys involved extensive data collection to classify and assess solid waste and port waste reception facilities, monitoring, community consultation, stakeholder engagement, capacity building and training in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Belize and South Africa.
APWC is also contracted directly by governments seeking advice in developing progressive waste management, resource recovery and circular economy policies.
Small island economies, such as the Pacific and Caribbean regions, face significant and well documented land and marine waste management challenges, including the tyranny of distance to recycling markets, high freight costs, limited available land for waste disposal, small and dispersed populations, low critical mass of waste and poor economies of scale.
To assist in the search for effective and economically viable solutions in the Pacific, APWC is supporting the work of several regional organisations and development programs, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) and its member agencies. In 2017, APWC assessed the potential for resource recovery of 15 common recyclable commodities in the solid waste stream in 15 Pacific island countries and territories.
Many of the Pacific island countries and territories have proposed, drafted or adopted waste and environment legislation to stimulate circular economy approaches, and to finance improved waste recovery systems and distribute the costs of managing end-of-life materials. These include bans on imports of plastic bags and other plastic products, extended producer responsibility, container deposit schemes, advance disposal fees, environmental taxes and levies, and user pays or pay-as-you-go fees.
To gather detailed information and accurate data from South Pacific island countries, a series of comprehensive waste audits has commenced in Tuvalu, Palau and Samoa, complementing studies already completed in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
In 2020, waste audits will proceed in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati and Tonga, funded by PRIF and the World Bank, with further studies in Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu, supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
These waste audits in the Pacific are also designed to complement and support other regional programs and initiatives such as the European Union funded PacWaste Plus project; Japan’s Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative Solid Waste Management (JPRISM); the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance; United Nations UNEP-GEF ‘Islands Programme’; Pacific Ocean Litter Programme.