ECO Champions competition launched

Friday, September 13, 2019

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Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ) Limited has announced the launch of its annual ECO Champions competition in schools across the island.

The ECO Champions competition is being held in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. It will involve over 100 schools and forms part of the RPJ's renewed push to foster a culture of recycling in Jamaica, starting with the country's youth.

As part of the competition, participating schools will reach out to organisations and individuals in their communities, encouraging them to collect and deposit bottles at the school to support their bid to become the top recycler. With the participation of both businesses and residents, RPJ is hoping to raise awareness about the importance of recycling at the community level, which hopefully will lead to greater action at the national level.

The competition is being facilitated in part by a recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the ministry and RPJ, which also creates 50 new jobs in the green sector. People chosen for these new jobs will be trained through the HEART Trust to serve as ECO stewards, thereby providing employment, as well as certification for the workers.

RPJ Chairman Damien King welcomed the collaboration, noting the need to begin the shift away from the habit of using and disposing, to one of recycling and sustainability.

“RPJ recognises that in any society the youth are the primary agents of cultural change. So this major shift must begin with them leveraging their energy, enthusiasm, and societal influence. The schools are critical to this effort,” King noted.

With the signing of the MOU, the ministry has reaffirmed its commitment to environmental protection, and pledged to take an active part in educating Jamaica's youth about responsible waste management.

National Technical and Vocational Education and Training Director Denworth Finnikin remarked that the training and certification that the MOU facilitates is of the utmost importance for the education ministry.

“We are building national capacity for skills that are currently needed, and will continue to be needed in the future. We are happy to have been brought on board by the RPJ, and look forward to a continued and strengthening partnership,” he said.

Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited is a registered charitable organisation and the designated national recycling entity, formed by public and private partnership with the Government of Jamaica, under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and the following private partners: Wisynco Group Limited, Pepsi Cola Jamaica Bottling Limited, Grace Foods & Services Limited, Jamaica Beverages Limited, Lasco Manufacturing Limited, Trade Winds Citrus Limited and Seprod Limited.

Its mandate is to remove plastic bottles from the environment by engaging the public, businesses, schools and diversion from our landfills.

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