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JET launches ICC 2018

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) kicked off the local 2018 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day with a beach clean-up of the Palisadoes Strip in Kingston on Monday, netting 19 bags of garbage weighing over 280 pounds in an hour.

ICC Day will be observed on Saturday, September 15.

Speaking at the launch ceremony following the clean-up, JET CEO Suzanne Stanley congratulated the volunteers for their hard work that morning, but pointed out that the garbage collected was only a tiny fraction of what is removed from Jamaica's beaches each year.

Data collection drives across the island on ICC Day last year revealed that 9,675 volunteers at 147 sites collected garbage weighing over 160,000 pounds.

“International Coastal Cleanup Day is an opportunity for Jamaicans to confront our garbage crisis head on,” said Stanley. “It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about issues related to solid waste management and garbage in our oceans, and a reminder for us to Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica.”

This year's staging of ICC Day in the island will be the 11th since JET took on the role of national coordinator. It will, however, mark the organisation's 25th year cleaning up the Palisadoes Strip in observance of ICC Day.

“TEF is happy to see the event grow every year, but we look forward to the day when volunteers will come to ICC and there won't be any garbage for them to clean up,” senior project administrative officer at Tourism Environmental Fund (TEF) Michelle Clayton-Brown said Monday. “As Jamaicans we all need to take personal responsibility for the garbage we generate, and keep Jamaica clean, not just for visitors, but for each other,” she continued.

TEF and Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ) are long-time sponsors of the annual one-day clean-up. This year they are joined by Jamaica Energy Partners and DFL Importers.

Shelly-Ann Dunkley, environment communication officer at Wisynco, who represented RPJ at the launch, revealed that the partnership is on the verge of securing approval from the Jamaican Government for an industry-led approach aimed at significantly increasing investment in recycling on the national level.

She also encouraged those present to begin recycling their plastic waste.

Started by the Ocean Conservancy in the USA in 1985, ICC is the largest one-day volunteer event in the world. It attracts millions of volunteers in more than 100 countries who clean up beaches and waterways to raise awareness about marine pollution.

In 2017 Jamaica's clean-up ranked as the 12th largest ICC event in the world and was the largest ICC turnout in the English-speaking Caribbean.