Recycle Partners looks at new programme for this year

Sunday, January 06, 2019

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Recycle Partners of Jamaica (RPJ), the country's designated National Recycling Entity, has said that it will be launching a larger, more comprehensive recycling programme in 2019.

The programme, which will focus on more industry-led initiatives, will see its funding increased significantly through direct contributions from private sector bottlers and distributors.

The expanded programme comes as a result of the industry's as well as public concerns about the damage caused to Jamaica's environment by inadequate waste management. It is this concern that spurred local manufacturers to create a working group to tackle the issue and invest in activities and capital equipment that will allow consumers to exchange plastic bottles for cash.

With this enhanced system, more locations will be made available for persons to drop off plastic bottles. To support these new initiatives, the private sector has already committed to investing over $800 million, in 2019, to expand RPJ's operations and infrastructure across the island.

As part of the new push, RPJ will launch an expanded Eco Champs school initiative, with over 100 schools across the island. The initiative is designed to train environmental wardens, who will assist with the sensitisation and education of the benefits of recycling in schools island wide.

It will also be involved in: creating habits in younger members of society around recycling; assist with the diversion of plastic bottles into RPJ locations; and allow improved access to the “First world concept of recycling” in Jamaican schools. The RPJ environmental warden complement currently stands at 45.

This year will also see an overall expansion of the RPJ's work, as they enlist more corporate partners and increase their total number of beach cleanups.

Commenting on the RPJ's new direction, Acting Executive Director, Winnie Cummings, noted that for 2019, the main objectives are: to build on the tremendous success RPJ had in 2018, and to boost awareness of the importance of recycling in general as well as the specific initiatives that RPJ has in place.

“The Environmental wardens will be a key part of our new programme because they will be instrumental in anchoring the sensitization and public education components on the ground,” she noted.

Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited, founded in 2014, is a registered non-profit organisation and Jamaica's designated National Recycling Entity.

RPJ was designed primarily to channel the recovery and collection and diversion of plastics bottles (PET, HDPE) from entering Jamaica's waste streams.

The organisation was formed by a public and private partnership with the Jamaican government, via 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.

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