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  • The Government has launched its first recycling project, which is seeking to recover some 4,690 tonnes of PET material (plastic bottles), and the creation of employment for over 3,000 persons over the next three years.
  • The project is an environment protection initiative, playing an integral role in the development of communities, in an environmentally and ecologically sound manner.
  • The project is managed by Recycling Partners of Jamaica, a public/private sector group, aiming to build and support national awareness of the need to recycle.

The Government has launched its first recycling project, which is seeking to recover some 4,690 tonnes of PET material (plastic bottles), and the creation of employment for over 3,000 persons over the next three years.

Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, said the project is an environment protection initiative, playing an integral role in the development of communities, in an environmentally and ecologically sound manner.

“This programme will see the establishment of satellite depots in strategic locations around the island, to facilitate collection of PET bottles. These depots will receive the reclaimed bottles, and bulk baled them, so as to increase efficiencies in handling, storage and transportation,” the Minister said at the launch on December 4, at the Anglican Church, in Port Maria, in St. Mary.

The project is managed by Recycling Partners of Jamaica, a public/private sector group, aiming to build and support national awareness of the need to recycle.

Coordinated under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), the project has other partners, such as Wisynco, Pepsi-Jamaica, GraceKennedy Foods and Services, Jamaica Beverages, Lasco Manufacturing, Seprod, and Trade Winds Citrus.

“I applaud you for the interest you have all taken in sustaining our environment, and by extension, our economy. This element of corporate responsibility is one that will auger well for your respective businesses,” Minister Guy said.

PET bottles are widely used to store soft drinks, food products, alcoholic beverages, detergents, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and edible oils.

The Government, over the next three years, will be pumping $150 million in the initiative, and the bottles, when purchased from collectors assigned to JEEP, will be weighed, baled and shipped overseas for further processing.

Dr. Guy pointed out that as a result of the project, there will be “reduced plastic waste entering the official disposal sites; a cleaner Jamaica, with less PET waste dumped into waterways; stimulation of  the growth of existing and new recycling businesses, and an increase in the rate of sustainable employment.”

The Minister told the gathering that through JEEP and Recycling Partners of Jamaica, entrepreneurs are being created.

The next depots to be operated will be in Kingston and St. Andrew, and in the parish of Manchester. Collaborating partners on the St. Mary project are the St. Mary Parish Council, and the Parish Development Committee (PDC).

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