Recycling plastic feels fantastic!

Wisynco challenge participants say separation catching on

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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S eparating plastics for recycling has become a way of life for members of the ZIP 103FM staff following their win of the first staging of Wisynco's Recycle Challenge for corporate entities earlier this year.

ZIP 103FM was one of six companies tasked with collecting a total of 100,000 bottles for recycling. Together, they collected over 250,000, with the radio entity alone pulling in the competition target.

The challenge was both a team-building experience and an eye-opener, the ZIP team said, explaining that they divided the members into small groups and arranged beach clean-ups and other collection drives across the island. The challenge had to be incorporated into their daily work lives and, for the weeks they were competing, they also collected bottles from every family member, friend and some random people in the vicinity of their office. The challenge also imparted several lessons, the ZIP team said.

“We learned to identify bottles which could be recycled by their codes; that was new information. Additionally, it made us aware of how many bottles were actually discarded on the road, and almost all the staff members who participated said they were now more conscious of plastic use in their own homes,” Station Manager D'Adra Williams told us.

She added: “We have developed relationships with Wisynco, who donated their recycle bin to us and have connected us, to Recycling Partners of Jamaica who do regular collections. Every week we have a full bin of bottles, some of which are dropped off by our listeners. In our office kitchenette, we now have two bins, one for regular garbage and another for bottles. So, yes, we are committed to recycling”.

ZIP's challengers were Chad-Ad Distributors, Fidelity Motors, Chilitos, Tank-Weld Metals, and The Gleaner.

Wisynco is currently in the middle of the second staging of the corporate challenge, this time with Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Football Federation, Digicel, Stewart's Automotive Group, CB Group, and 100 Hope Road. Combined, the teams have already amassed close to half of the 300,000-bottle target.

“The overwhelming support for the ECO challenges and competitions curated by Wisynco has proven that Jamaicans are ready and willing to revolutionise the way we dispose of our plastics. This year the aim for collection in the Recycle Challenge is 300,000 bottles up to November 23rd,” environment communications officer Shelly-Ann Dunkley told the Observer.

Wisynco, a leading Jamaican distributor and manufacturer of a range of beverage and grocery brands, also has eco initiatives in primary and high schools. Its ECO Club has been active for the past two years, with over 35 schools participating in a recycling campaign.

Harrison's Preparatory won in the primary school category last year.

“The experience was great for the children and teachers of Harrison's Prep, especially the bottle drive that was put on by the school in the surrounding community of Hampton Green. What stuck with the students most is the importance of recycling, and it is evident as they are extremely eager. Every time they see a bottle they now know that they need to take it up and put it away for recycling. I believe it is stuck with them for life,” teacher Kassandra Peart said.

Peart added: “Harrison's Prep is still in the competition and we are still recycling. Parents started signing up even before the competition opened, and the teachers can always look forward to students and their parents coming in each week with one or two bags of bottles to be recycled.”

The same is true for the high school ECO Club champion for 2017, Haile Selassie High. Teacher, Taniesha Wiles confirmed that the school continues to participate in the competition and aims to retain the title.

“Although not everyone has gotten involved with the recycling, the majority of persons from the community are very active and have made it their duty to collect and bring us their bottles,” Wiles said. “It has gotten to a point where we no longer have to ask persons or put ourselves out there;they know we are in the competition and so they find out what we need and how they can assist.”

She said although the students learned the basics of recycling, including the fact that there are various different types of plastics to be recycled and not just drinking bottles, the biggest lesson was the reinforcement that hard work and dedication brings success.

“The students worked very hard to do their part to collect the most bottles and come out on top of the competition,” said Wiles.

According to Wisynco, the ECO Club has extended its reach this year and has increased the collection target to 3,000,000 bottles,

“The competition, thus far, has helped students and by extension their parents, to become environmentally aware and reduce the volume of plastics that are improperly disposed of in Jamaica. This year, we have more schools and more support from students, teachers and parents,” Dunkley said.

“ECO Club is getting everyone in the habit of recycling. Talk about a revolution!”

For details on the programmes or on general recycling tips, visit http://wisynco.com/recyclingoutlets/ or contact your nearest recycling outlet. Assist your favourite school or preferred corporate challenger by dropping off your plastic bottles at their locations. Join the revolution! Recycling plastic feels fantastic!

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