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Vaz clarifies $75-m commitment to waste disposal campaign

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, has sought to clarify a Gleaner article, in which he was mentioned as saying that $75 million would be committed by the Government over three years towards the implementation of a plastic bottle deposit scheme.

“The news item followed an address that was given by Minister Vaz at the Conservation Through Education Forum at the Urban Development Corporation's Orange Park at the Kingston Waterfront on Friday June 8, in celebration of World Oceans Day,” stated the ministry in a release today.

The ministry said that in the news article following the forum, Environmentalist and Columnist Peter Espeut requested clarification on how the $75 million would be spent adding that it is “going to be a political project to employ people”. “Not so”, said Minister Vaz, who has responsibility for the environment.

In clarifying his statement, the minister said the $75 million mentioned is not for the plastic bottle deposit scheme, Recycling Partners of Jamaica, or the HOPE programme, as was stated in the Gleaner article, but is in fact earmarked for the “Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” campaign.

Vaz added that the” Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” campaign would receive financial support of $25 million per year, over a three-year period.

The ministry said the “Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” campaign, which is spearheaded by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and Wisynco, is a component of the Clean Coasts Project and aims to increase public education about the impact of improper waste disposal on the environment and on the health of Jamaicans.

Vaz said he was heartened by the announcement made by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness during his budget speech, that the Government will be working with industry players through Recycling Partners, to implement a deposit scheme similar to the one for glass bottles, especially since plastic bottles have replaced glass as the container of choice for manufacturers and distributors of water, juices and sodas.

“It is an initiative that is sorely needed, because we use and dispose of almost one billion PET bottles annually, which is roughly equivalent to 350 bottles per Jamaican each year. This Government recognises the impact that improper solid waste disposal is having on the country and is taking several steps to rectify the problem”, said Vaz.

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