My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How a Ban on Styrofoam, Plastics needs Recycling Initiative to save the Jamaican Environment

Friday, February 9, 2018

How a Ban on Styrofoam, Plastics needs Recycling Initiative to save the Jamaican Environment

“One thing is certain, the paralysis of how we have approached items of our environmental protection throughout our history ... is at an end.”

Government senator Matthew Samuda commenting on changes coming from the Jamaican Government on a potential ban of Styrofoam and plastic bags

Justice is coming for the Jamaican Environment.

This as the Jamaican Government will be taking measure to limit the use of Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags as reported in the article “Gov't To Take Action On Styrofoam And Plastic Bags - Senator Samuda”, published Friday February 9, 2018 by Edmond Campbell, The Jamaica Gleaner. 

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This action is the result of the work of Government senator Matthew Samuda, who had championed the idea for the ban of Styrofoam and plastic bags when a motion was finally passed in the Senate on Friday October 7th 2016 as reported on my blog article entitled “How Plastic Bottles and Styrofoam may soon be banned in Jamaica”.

A working group, chaired by the Director, Mona GeoInformatics Institute, University of the West Indies, Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, completed their task in October 2017. Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee canvassed the opinions of several Jamaicans via an online petition as reported back in August 25 as reported in the article “Last Day For Feedback On Proposal To Ban Plastic Bags”, Published Friday August 25, 2017, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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The working group will now submit their recommendations within 100 days of Wednesday February 7th 2018 as reported in the article “Recommendations On Reducing Plastic And Styrofoam Use In Jamaica Within 100 Days”, published Tuesday February 7, 2017, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This will be centered on how to reduce and eventually remove Styrofoam and single-use plastics bags but needs to be expanded to include 500ml plastic bottles. 

Ban on Styrofoam coming - Recycling Initiative needed to tackle plastics already in the environment

My personal recommendation is to pay Jamaicans JA$100 to return 500ml bottles and other types of plastic such as Styrofoam.

This a JA$100 is the overall equivalent cost the NSWMA pays per plastic item to have it removed from the environment as noted in my blog article entitled “How JA$100 for recycling 500ml Plastic bottles and Styrofoam Ban will save Jamaica's Environment”.

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Also the legislation on the collection of Garbage needs to be put in place to force large companies and householders to sort their garbage by type into different bins as follows:

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

A more realistic fine of JA$100,000 would also help to deter the usage of Styrofoam and other plastics as well, including single-use plastics bags and 500ml plastic bottles.

Hoping to hear what this announcement will entail, as albeit a ban is good, we need to tackle the current problem that my recommendations would solve; getting Jamaicans to care about the environment by paying them to keep plastics from getting into the environment.

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