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Private sector proposes plastic bottle return system

Suzanne Stanley, CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust and Environmentalist Peter Espeut
 
The private sector has proposed a plastic bottle return system which could see Jamaicans being paid to return the items.
 
The proposal is being hailed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness as a major step in overcoming the improper disposal of plastic bottles.
 
He said the project will see funding coming from producers of plastic bottled products for a deposit and pay-out on return mechanism. 
 
Speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Mr. Holness said Jamaica faces a solid waste management crisis. 
 
He said the garbage is a real threat to Jamaica’s ecosystems and civil infrastructure. 
 
Environmental support 
 
There has been enthusiastic support from the environmental community to the plastic bottle return programme.
 
However, there are several questions being raised about the mechanisms that will be in place for the system to work.
 
"What's the money figure that is going to be used to create this incentive for people to bring in the bottles, for example. He's spoken about legislation or regulations as it were, how soon are those regulations gonna come in?" asked Suzanne Stanley, CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust. 
 
She added that it would also be useful to know how convenient it will be for people to participate in the scheme and whether there was any similar scheme that was successful anywhere else in the world. 
 
Environmentalist Peter Espeut has also welcomed the move but wants more information. 
 
"We have to know the details of it before we jump up and shout, but what is interesting is that he (the Prime Minister) says that the private sector has agreed to fund it, because the objection that the private sector has made up to now, that I have heard, is that they are not prepared...to pay back the deposit to the people and then pass the money back to the government. So that seems to be progress," purported. 
 
 


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