Recycling Partners of Jamaica is hungry for plastic

The recently revamped Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ) – a major sponsor of this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day – want to get their hands on all the plastic they can – especially your bottles.

Image result for plastic bottles in water

Why did RPJ decide to become a major sponsor of this year’s cleanup? Standing outside of the RPJ tent at the Go Kart track near Norman Manley Airport, Chairman Dr. Damien King explains:

Dr Damien King, Chairman, Recycling Partners of Jamaica joined by Dr Carey Wallace, Executive director of Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF)

“Firstly, the cleanup raises awareness. It’s a vehicle to get everybody’s attention on the problem that we have with waste management – and plastic bottles in particular, which is most of what is collected.

Second…It’s an information gathering exercise. When we’re seeing what washes up on the coast then we know what is the source of the waste.”

Bags of garbage collected at the Palisadoes Lighthouse Beach in Kingston today (Sept. 21)

This is a big part of the cleanup. The organisers to keep track of what is actually out there. For example, how will the ban on plastic bags and straws affect this year’s haul? How many will be found?

“It’s a vehicle to get everybody’s attention on the problem that we have with waste management”

— Dr Damien King

As always, designated volunteers with clipboards meticulously noted every detail of what their team collected. If they had questions, Jamaica Environment Trust volunteers were on hand to help.

There’s also the environmental impact. Plastic is creeping into the ecosystem – and onto our plates. Dr. King observes:

“When plastic bottles stay around they not only despoil the beaches and the coastline, but they break down and become micro plastics and get into the food chain.”

Here’s a quick factoid tweeted by RPJ. Bet you didn’t know…

“Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year.”

Let’s commit to recycling. It starts in the home!

And so there’s every good reason to participate in this exercise and RPJ is absolutely thrilled to sponsor it and be a part of it.