JIS News

Like some other countries in the world, Jamaica will soon be switching from the use of plastic bags to more environmentally-friendly biodegradable bags.
Bangladesh, China, and Ireland have reduced plastic bag consumption by 90 per cent, while Israel, Canada, Western India, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Taiwan, and Singapore have banned or are moving towards banning the plastic bag.
Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Joan Gordon-Webley, spoke of the Government’s intention, while speaking at the Regional Clean Schools’ Awards Competition and Waste to Art Expo, held on Friday, June 6 at the Mandeville Hotel, Manchester.
The competition was organised by the NSWMA and SPM Waste Management Limited under the theme: ‘Maintaining a Clean Environment for the Preservation of Life’. It is an annual event geared towards teaching children to take pride in their environment and, through reuse and recycling, reduce the amount of waste they generate.
Mrs. Gordon-Webley said that as part of the NSWMA’s own efforts, “the NSWMA is moving ahead, and as part of taking care of the environment, we are now moving out of the use of the ordinary plastic bags towards bio-degradable bags, and very shortly, we shall be bringing those on the market,” she said.
She said that some of the challenges facing the world and Jamaica were as a result of the abuse of the environment. She cited the recent flooding in Ocho Rios, which, she said, was as a result of the burning and cutting of trees on the hillsides and not re-planting them. “If we are not very careful, the hillside is going to consume us,” she added. The Executive Director congratulated the 400 schools which participated in this year’s competition, pointing out that some schools in some regions did very well, but also noted the lack of involvement of schools in some regions.
Mrs. Gordon-Webley said that next year’s competition would be bigger and better, and that the NSWMA would be going to schools and communities to speak about the environment.
“It is not good only to speak about it. We have to do it. Our children are going to do things, based on the example we set,” she said.

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