The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is calling on citizens to play their part in eliminating plastic bottles from the waste stream, by practising garbage separation at home and in communities.
“We have to take responsibility for the solid waste that we generate. There is a myth out there that we must dispel, that somebody else must pick up after us. No! We generate the solid waste and we must manage it in a way that it does not harm the environment and create health hazards for us and our children,” said Executive Director of the NSWMA Audley Gordon.
Gordon was speaking with JIS News about the agency’s pilot plastic separation programme, which began in 12 St Andrew communities in January.
“Plastic, depending on whom you speak to, can take up to one hundred years to break down. Part of what we are trying to change is the culture, which doesn’t change overnight. The more hands you have on deck, and the more voices you have saying the same thing, you will get there quicker. We expect that, over time, as we expand into a wider separation programme, we will ultimately have the changed behaviour that the country desperately needs,” he said.
The programme entails distributing special garbage bags in the communities for the containerisation of plastic bottles. These are then collected on specific days by the NSWMA and taken to Recycling Partners of Jamaica Ltd.
Until the plastic separation programme is expanded to other communities, Gordon is urging citizens to separate plastic bottles from their garbage and take them to Recycling Partners of Jamaica drop-off centres.