Waste Management Projects

Introducing Period Undies!

Sustainable alternatives to your everyday sanitary disposables.

Made from natural, organic, recycled fabrics.

Here you can find more information about the reusable pads, period undies and moon cups

Maine Mura Meets Rarotonga!

Maine Mura makes its way to Mauke


Turning waste into business on Mauke

Women's health and reusable feminine hygiene awareness for our Cook Islands woman has made its way to Mauke. The Maine Mura programme includes presentations on how to use and look after your reusable products as well as the economic savings and environmental benefits associated with reusable products.

Both Apii Mauke and the wider Mauke community were informed on the new reusable products introduced.

Meitaki Ranuinui to United Nations in the Pacific for making it possible to share new knowledge and well being products with our local community.

Wash Against Waste


"Rent a Plate" stall at the Punanga Nui Market! We are currently trialing this #washagainstwaste initiative to reduce the amount of plastic waste in our landfill. For a gold coin donation you can choose reusable plates, bowls, cutlery, coffee cups and even clean jars for your coffee and smoothies.

Rarotonga Recycling Centre

In 1996 we established the first Recycling Centre on Rarotonga behind the old “Bond” store at the current location of the CITC supermarket in Panama. We invited all recyclers to operate at this central location and we ran the first Cook Islands “Clean Up the World” campaign to promote “Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. TIS members coordinated the campaign with uniformed organisations in each village. Later, WWF, and then the National Environment Service coordinated annual Clean Up the World campaigns. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning are now managing the landfill and NES in association with WATSAN and private contractors are promoting recycling.

Feeling deflated with pool floatie pile up

Our kids love inflatable pool toys, but not enough it seems to stop them from doing everything in their power to pop them!  Not always on purpose of course, but these floaties are made for looks, not durability and often won’t last a week before they are carted off to the landfill. Many tourists also bring pool floaties with them to the Cook Islands only to leave them behind at the end of their holiday.

As we all become more conscious of our plastic waste, is it time to cut back on our obsession with inflatable unicorns and pink flamingos? And just what should you do when your pool inflatable springs a leak?

Fortunately, Sabine Janneck from CIRCLE Cook Islands is bringing life back into these deflated floaties by sewing them into nifty bags and earrings.    Sabine is known for her artistic bags and purses, painstakingly made from all kinds of plastic rubbish, from chip bags to coffee sachets which are then sewn together with colourful TAV offcuts.

Obviously we should patch our damaged pool toys to extend their life, but if you do have some that are beyond repair, you can drop them (clean, please) to us at Te Ipukarea Society office, next door to Bamboo Jacks in Tupapa, or call Sabine on 55238.

Creating positive change in attitudes and behaviours towards waste in Mauke & Mangaia

Waste is a big problem in the pa enua (outer islands) due to a combination of increased consumption and inadequate disposal options and methods.  Open burning and unofficial dumping is common practice and the landfills are mostly not lined or engineered.

Our current project works with the southern group islands of Mangaia and Mauke to raise awareness on waste issues and help find solutions to reducing waste and changing behaviour towards disposal.  Creating positive change in attitudes and behaviours towards waste will hopefully assist in creating long term sustainable change.

In April 2021 we visited Mauke and took workshops with the school and community on repurposing and upcycling waste.  In September 2021 we visited Mangaia to undertake a household waste audit  and business survey to identify the amount of recyclable material that could potentially be diverted from the landfill.  With Mangaia's new recycling centre, a can and glass crusher, the focus is on encouraging separation of tin, aluminum to be repatriated for recycling and glass for use locally in construction.    Read more here


Cloth Bag Campaign

In 1998 it was estimated that over 2 million (2,000,000) plastic bags are used in the Cook Islands. With the help of our Patron Karika Ariki Margaret Taripo, TIS established a partnership with the Cook Islands Girl Guides to sew cloth bags. These were sold for use as shopping bags in place of plastic bags. Sales of the cloth bags went well and awareness was raised but more needs to be done to encourage people to develop a habit of using cloth bags. TIS continues to promote the use of cloth bags and supports the “Say No to Plastic Bags” campaign by the National Environment Service.

Protesting the Trans-shipment of Nuclear Waste

TIS were the national coordinators for the Greenpeace regional petition against the trans-shipment of nuclear waste through the Pacific. We collected 3,000 signatures in 3 days, country-wide.

Worm Farm and Compost Bin school trainings

Compost bins and worm farms can reduce the amount of organic waste being burnt or sent to the local landfill.

Te Ipukarea Society have provided these worm farm and compost bins across every school in the Cook Islands together with  trainings on how to look after and maintain them.  Trainings have generated a lot of interest from both teachers, students and the local community who are wanting to learn more, along with how to own or build a system of their own.