976 kgs of plastic removed during Sumfest beach clean-up
Volunteers cleaning the beach behind the Catherine Hall entertainment complex, on Saturday.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Almost 1,000 kilograms of plastic waste were removed Saturday from the beach just behind the Catherine Hall entertainment complex during a massive clean-up effort led by organisers of Reggae Sumfest.

From early in the morning, volunteers combed the beach and cleared it of refuse. According to Recycling Partners of Jamaica, 976 kilogrammes of plastic waste were collected. There was also a substantial amount of other garbage taken from the area and carted away by the National Solid Waste Management Agency (NSWMA).

The beach clean-up was part of a series of activities that will culminate with the reggae festival being staged at the entertainment complex in July. Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of Downsound Entertainment, which produces Reggae Sumfest, was an active participant on Saturday.

“I am happy that we could come out working to clean the beach here at Catherine Hall. Each one of us can help, individually; we can make a difference. People need to understand how destructive plastic is to the sea, to the fishes, just the general well-being of the planet,” he said.

This is the second such effort at the beach. In 2019 the Sumfest team and Recycling Partners of Jamaica worked with a group of about 60 volunteers for the clean-up. On Saturday there were more than 150 volunteers from various organisations.

Among them was councillor for the Spring Garden Division, Dwight Crawford.

“What we need to start focusing on now, and what we’re looking at is encouraging people and educating people on proper waste disposal. This garbage came from some far place where people never imagined that the gully they were dumping things in led to the sea,” he said.

“I’m encouraging people to dispose of your garbage better because the fish that you eat on your table comes from the ocean and the garbage that you throw into the drains goes into the ocean and, of course, affects the fish. So you think you getting rid of it when it’s coming right back on your dinner table,” he continued.

Joe Bogdanovich (centre) engages in conversation with Sumfest founder Robert Russell (left) and Councillor Dwight Crawford.
Music producer and DownSound executive, Skatta Burrell (right, foreground) was among people who participated in the clean-up.
Joe Bogdanovich (right) joins Councillor Dwight Crawford (second right) and members of the St James Junior Council in Saturday’s beach clean-up.<strong></strong>
Tyres were among the items removed during the clean-up effort.
Recycling Partners of Jamaica gets ready to take away plastic removed from the beach.

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