My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How JA$100 for recycling 500ml Plastic bottles and Styrofoam Ban will save Jamaica's Environment

Sunday, April 24, 2016

How JA$100 for recycling 500ml Plastic bottles and Styrofoam Ban will save Jamaica's Environment

Finally, Jamaica is listening on no better day than Earth Day on Friday April 22nd 2016.

A Private Member's Motion in the works from G2K (Generation 2000) president Senator Matthew Samuda to ban plastics bags and styrofoam as reported in the article “Senator Pushes For Jamaica To Ban Plastic Bags, Styrofoam”, published Friday April 22, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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Samuda claims he plans to bring the motion to parliament when a window of opportunity opens. Senator Matthew Samuda has made it clear that he believes that due to Jamaica’s inadequate recycling of plastics, styrofoam and plastic bags, particularly scandal bags are becoming a nuisance at landfills. For this reason a ban on plastic bags below 50 gallons would encourage local producers to make environmentally friendly plastic bags.

What got me excited really, is that this seems to be follow on of Guyana's decision to ban the importation of styrofoam as of Friday April 1st 2016 as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Guyana banning Styrofoam and How Jamaican Bee farmers can benefit”.  

But what would these environmentally friendly options be?

Senator Matthew Samuda imported plastics and styrofoam ban - Newspaper and Cardboard with beeswax in Biodegradable Packaging Industry

A ban on Plastics below a 50 Gallon capacity would basically include scandal bags. Similarly, a ban on Styrofoam would cut out the importation of the material commonly associated with lunch boxes in Jamaica.

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The replacements options have to be locally made, biodegradable and be long lasting without including plastic. This would encourage local recycler of cardboard and paper such as Nationwide Waste Services Ltd as described in my blog article entitled “How Nationwide Waste Services Ltd makes money from Recycling Cardboard and Bauxite Topsoil” to consider making VAS (Value Added Products) from the raw material instead of just sending it abroad to be recycled.

50 gallon plastic container can be replaced with recycled newspaper, recycled paper and recycled woodchip bags coated with beeswax to make them more durable and waterproof. Cardboard food boxes, also coated with beeswax can also be made to replace styrofoam.

Both of these initiatives can be made right here in Jamaica and would be of benefit to the Newspaper companies, cardboard recyclers as well as to honeybee farmers as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Honeybees and American FoulBrood Disease - How the Ministry of Agriculture ban on Imported Honey protects local Agriculture Industry” 

The ban on imported plastics and styrofoam would potentially create a multi-million dollar biodegradable packaging industry that would save our environment, including our coral reefs in the long run.

Improved collection using marked bins and milling machines – Reducing Garbage for easier recycling

A ban on imported plastics isn't just an opportunity to make money by creating a new industry to replace these imported items.

It can also expand the scope of the Recycle Now Jamaica Project to Recycle PETE Plastic launched back in 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “How GOJ JA$200 million Recycle Now Jamaica Project to Recycle PETE Plastic Waste will power JEEP”. 

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The companies involved in Recycle Now Jamaica Project recycle plastic, the Wisynco Group, Pepsi- Cola Jamaica, GraceKennedy Foods and Services, Jamaica Beverages, Lasco, Trade Winds Citrus, and Seprod recycle PET plastic for use in their own products. However, citizens need to be encouraged and empowered with ways to make money from recycling, as that is the best way to make recycling plastics a part of our thinking as Jamaicans.

The best way to do this is initially via legislation to make littering a more serious offense as JA$2,000 is way too low as noted in the article “Over 800 hauled before court for littering, dumping”, published Monday, January 18, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Once something more realistic, such as a JA$100,000 fine is in place, Jamaicans can then be encouraged to place different types of garbage into different bins as follows:

1.      Plastics
2.      Electronics
3.      Organic Waste
4.      Cardboard and Paper
5.      Metals
6.      Glass

The garbage bins themselves can be made from recycled material, be it plastic, Metal or even Bamboo, an idea sure to please the bamboo farmers in Peckham, Clarendon as noted in my blog article entitled “Bamboo Farming in Peckham, Clarendon – How Bamboo Farming boosts Clarendon Farming via Export of VAP.

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Most garbage collectors merely throw the garbage into the garbage trucks to be dumped at the Riverton City Dump. Instead of this traditional way of collecting garbage, the NSWMA could sell those trash compactor and replace them with cheaper panel Liteace Vanes retrofitted with a mini generators and a small milling machine for each type of garbage.

In order to reduce the cost of running these Liteace Vanes, they could be powered using biofuels such as recycled cooking oil reused as biodiesel as envisioned by the PCJ (Petroleum Corporation in Jamaica) in my blog article entitled “Why Biodiesel and Hydroelectric Power at PCJ's Alternative Energy Expo a must before 2020” 

This milling machine would be used to mill and reduce the different types of waste to a fine powder. This as the garbage collectors collecting the garbage from these specially marked bins would run the milling machine, pulverizing waste and storing in bins inside of the Liteace Vanes.

This is all possible, as the garbage collected currently isn’t compacted properly and would take up a lot less space if minced into smaller size.  

This would make it possible to collect a lot more garbage, as by masticating and mincing it into smaller pieces, it takes up less space and is easier to transport in a smaller vehicle, store and process for recycling. It would also be cost effective, as the Liteace Vanes would themselves be powered by recycled organic waste such as cooking oil converted into biodiesel, making the whole operation self-sustaining over the long run.

JA$100 value on 500ml bottles would encourage plastic recycling - Ban on microbeads needed as Coral Reefs also in danger

Aside from specially marked rubbish bins to place plastics, increasing the recycling value of plastics would also make sense.

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This as by encouraging someone to return a plastic bottle, it reduced the cost of recovering it from the environment by the NSWMA as well as saving the environment so that Jamaicans and tourist can enjoy it!

So JA$100 per recycled 500ml bottle would make sense, as that would roughly be the cost for the NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority) to not only remove plastics but also remove its potential long term effects on the environment, as plastics do not biodegrade. 

Then making it easy to get paid for recycling would also be great.

Recycling depots where you return a plastic bottle and get credited with JA$100 in any form you wish, be it to your bank account via mobile money or even to your phone credit or JUTC Smarter Card in exchange for Free Wi-Fi as explained in my blog article entitled “Why JUTC Wi-Fi by September 2016 means Digicel Mobile Money launch imminent” would speed up the rate at which plastics would be removed from the environment.

Hopefully along with banning plastics and styrofoam, Senator Matthew Samuda and other of similar thinking can pressure NEPA (National Environmental and Planning Agency) to ban bathing and washing products that contain microbeads as the US of A have done since December 2015 as noted in my blog article entitled “How US microbeads ban by 2017 means NEPA ban coming to protect Coral Reefs”.

Our future generations will thank us for this forward thinking initiative as JA$100 is a small price to pay to ensure Jamaica’s future survival.

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