Material Flow Analysis Applied to Household Solid Waste and Marine Litter on a Small Island Developing State

Small island developing states (SIDS) have limited access to imported goods, and their associated patterns of consumption and waste generation are affected by space limitations. They are also impacted by the global presence of marine litter that reaches their shores from the ocean. A material flow analysis (MFA) was applied to household solid waste and marine litter collected from Kayangel Island in the Republic of Palau to provide a comprehensive characterization and spatial accounting of the inflow of nonputrescible materials that become solid waste. Approximately 15,100 kg of nonputrescible solid waste are generated annually on Kayangel Island (0.42 kg per capita per day), with 57% being marine litter derived from the ocean and 43% derived from household activities. Household generation of nonputrescible solid waste (that ignores inputs of marine litter) ranged from 0.14–0.18kg/capita-day0.14–0.18  kg/capita-day<math display="inline" overflow="scroll"><mn>0.14</mn><mo>–</mo><mn>0.18</mn><mtext> </mtext><mtext> </mtext><mi>kg</mi><mo>/</mo><mi>capita</mi><mtext mathvariant="normal">-</mtext><mi>day</mi></math> for the school in session and nonschool periods, respectively. The most significant waste categories (by mass) include mixed material and nonrecyclable plastic wastes from both household sources and ocean-derived marine litter. Once nonputrescible solid waste is introduced, 0.39 kg per capita per day accumulates, 0.02 kg per capita per day is removed from the island via shipping, and 0.01 kg per capita per day is processed by open pit burning. Applying an MFA to solid waste on a SIDS links local and global solid waste generation with material fates, and may assist solid waste management practices.

Associated space


Something wrong with this information? Report errors here.