Burning waste was a common practice in Tonga. However, the waste is now very different to what it was years ago. Burning plastics releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Breathing air-borne dioxins is a serious health risk, and has been shown to increase the risk of cancer. Air-borne pollutants are carried to roofs and water tanks. The mix of chemicals in every day waste such as batteries and plastic are a real hazard when burned. If you burn your waste, you not only pollute the air you breathe, but the air that your children and neighbours breathe.
Burning waste in Tonga is illegal. Please encourage relatives and neighbours to use the waste collection system rather than burning. If they continue to burn their waste, please let us know so that we can explain that they are breaking the law, and pursue prosecution if necessary. You can watch our video production below about the danger of burning rubbish.