‘Changing this culture is not easy’
JAMAICA Observer online readers say a change of culture is needed to get Jamaicans to adopt more environmentally-friendly habits to prevent places like the Kingston Harbour from being inundated with garbage.
The readers were reacting to a story published yesterday about the piles of plastic bottles and other garbage in and around the harbour. Here are some edited comments:
Seems this clean-up is going to have to be a monthly exercise at the very least.
Something must be done about this fast! Everywhere you go there is plastic; from soda, diapers, styrofoam, from the gullies to the roadside to the beachside. The environment is so polluted. Nothing has been done because the "big man" is making a lot of money.
This clean-up cannot/must not be just about Kingston and its environs or a few selected beaches. This is an islandwide problem that needs to be addressed immediately. There are MPs, councillors, and caretakers in all these affected areas but, as usual, nothing like a "clean-up" will not take place untill an election is on the horizon. Go back to paper and glass bottles and we'll have a cleaner place.
Talking about drowning in plastic are we aware that many, if not most, of our scandal bags are manufactured in China where those same bags are banned? Is Jamaica inhabited by idiots? Why do we continue to drown in plastic and even the lowest grades of plastic where it can be avoided? Where is our leadership and followership on this? Have we ever heard of a most carcinogenic substance that seeps out of plastic called Bisphenol A. Talk to the minister of health. Let's see what plans are there away from his pet peeve cigarettes.
If people have no pride, they will toss their garbage into the street or the sea. Changing this culture is not easy. Education helps, as does cleaning it up, but ultimately it is up to the people and their attitudes.
Why does Jamaica not have a viable plastic-recycling system in place? It boggles the mind. I guess the politicians are too busy with their own self-interest.
Now is the time for some programme to be put in place to have members of the low-risk prison population do supervised clean-up of our coast and neighbourhoods that are drowning in garbage. We can also have people who have criminal records for small amounts of ganja participate in the programme and, after certain amount of supervised hours are completed, then their criminal record can be expunged. The already paid, underused army will provide security at no additional cost to the Government. We can get the churches and social groups involved. This will have a positive partnership on all communities.
Well JET needs to get help from the low- risk prisoners who are at leisure in the prisons. It would give them a sense of achievement as well. Maybe the magistrates and judges can sentence some of these people to do this type of community service.
... Where are the political representatives? They only work during general election time and spew empty promises.
Add a surcharge to plastics and glass, redeemable through recycling.
How do you explain this other than the people are just plain nasty to be throwing their trash everywhere with no proper disposal in the garbage where it belong? They drink things and just throw the empty plastic containers and plastic bottles on the ground. It is not by coincidence that this plastic problem has now occurred.
Struggling daily to not die of hunger, do you think that many Jamaicans have time to think about the environment? Give the people a reason to want to live, then they will care for the land they live on.
Why not start a recycling programme?
The useless inept Government could have the prisoners and soldiers clean up the place, but they refuse to make any positive change.
A lot of plastic could be avoided. First, all of the mayo, ketchup, soft drink, etc, bottles need to be returned to glass bottles. That is how it was before they changed everything into plastic bottles. It is hard to even find stuff in glass bottles again.
Dirty culture. I guess you people don't see this as a problem for the environment. Well as long as you people have your cake soap, everything is alright.