The Government has announced that it will spend a total of $75 million over three years, towards the implementation of a plastic bottle deposit scheme.
The deposit scheme means consumers will be able to get money for turning in their plastic bottles, rather than having them end up in garbage bins, on the street, in the rivers at the beach and in the sea.
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, announced the Government’s commitment to spend $75 Million over three years in the scheme.
“We are providing financial support to Recycling Partners of Jamaica – a private sector-led initiative towards the island-wide collection and export of plastic bottles under the Housing Opportunities Production and Employment (HOPE) programme,” Mr. Vaz said.
The Minister was addressing a World Oceans Day event dubbed ‘Save Our Sea’, hosted by Conservation Through Education Jamaica at the Urban Development Corporation’s (UDC) Orange Park in downtown Kingston on June 8, JIS reported.
Since November 2016, this project has collected over 1.3 million pounds of plastic waste for export.
He explained that under the scheme, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and other plastic bottles will have a value, so instead of throwing them out, persons can turn them in, in exchange for cash.
“So people will not be in a rush to dispose of them but rather to cash them in, so that they can be taken out the garbage and the rivers and the streams,” Mr. Vaz said.
He stressed that this is an initiative that “is sorely needed” to reduce plastic bottle waste in the country, pointing out that Jamaicans use and dispose of almost one billion PET bottles annually which is equivalent to 350 bottles per Jamaican each year.
Private sector leaders recently announced that they had agreed to a plan to have a deposit scheme for plastic bottles that carried soft drinks and other content. No date has been set for the scheme to commence.
“The Government recognises the impact that improper solid waste disposal is having on the country and is taking several steps to rectify this problem,” Mr. Vaz said.
In the meantime, Minister Vaz informed that the working group on single-use plastic recently concluded its work and subsequent consultations were held with several stakeholders in order to arrive at a consensus on the actions that must be taken about this issue.