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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, is imploring Jamaicans to reuse and recycle plastics in order to reduce the impact of the material on the environment.
  • Minister Vaz was addressing the award ceremony of the LASCO Re-Leaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on June 2.
  • For his part, Chairman of LASCO, Hon. Lascelles Chin, congratulated the teachers and students for seeing the value of REAP and taking the decision to participate in the competition.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, is imploring Jamaicans to reuse and recycle plastics in order to reduce the impact of the material on the environment.

He said the use and disposal of  plastic bags commonly call “scandal bags” as well as Styrofoam containers, have  been a major cause of blockage of the drainage system and gullies.

“During heavy rainfall they wreak havoc, costing parish councils and central Government much expenditure to clear the drains and loss to businesses due to flooding,” he pointed out.

“It is an eyesore to see the containers and the scandal bags littering our beaches, but more importantly, they are a hazard to the health of our marine environment. The various beach cleanup efforts continue to produce more and more of this waste,” Mr. Vaz added.

“We need to learn to dispose of these items properly, or better yet, replace them with reusable containers and bags,” he said.

Minister Vaz was addressing the award ceremony of the LASCO Re-Leaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on June 2.

Under the theme: ‘Pick up the Pace to Zero Waste’ the competition saw primary and preparatory school students engaged in friendly rivalry for attractive prizes, while increasing their environmental awareness.

The Minister congratulated the schools that participated.

“You have collected over 700,000 plastic bottles and planted over 1,000 trees as well as flower and vegetable gardens.   This is awesome.  It shows what can be done when we join our hands and hearts together for the good of our environment, our country and our people,” Mr. Vaz said.

He urged the students to “encourage your parents to pack lunches for you in containers that you will be able to use for a long time. Also, when they go shopping, encourage them to take reusable bags to pack the groceries they purchase.”

For his part, Chairman of LASCO, Hon. Lascelles Chin, congratulated the teachers and students for seeing the value of REAP and taking the decision to participate in the competition.

He urged them to practice the lessons learnt for the preservation of the environment.

Howard Cooke Primary School in St. James copped the first place prize of 10 computers, along with two tablets for winning the best poem and best essay categories.

St. Hugh’s Preparatory School placed second and was presented with a 40-inch smart television. The school also won the best song category.

New Forrest Infant, Primary and Junior High School in Manchester received the third place prize of a digital projector and screen, along with $50,000 and a water tank for winning the best garden category.