Thu | Feb 21, 2019

Private sector tackles plastic bottle recycling

Published:Tuesday | January 22, 2019 | 12:23 AM

Members of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) and other industry players in the packaging sector have committed to supporting the increased recovery of plastic bottles by facilitating an expansion of Recycling Partners of Jamaica's (RPJ) recycling programme.  

In a release yesterday, the JMEA advised that an agreement had been reached on a funding initiative that will generate significant additional support for RPJ’s capital requirements and operational activities.

This enterprise will be implemented on a phased basis, which will allow for a sustainable deposit refund system in the long term. To this end, core industry partners have decided to implement a small price increase to help defray this additional contribution to the non-profit RPJ.

More locations coming

The funds will be utilised to add more locations where persons can drop off plastic bottles and to purchase trucks and other recycling equipment to assist in the collection and removal of plastic bottles.

In effect, all bottles distributed in Jamaica will significantly increase funding through direct contributions from private sector bottlers, other manufacturers, and importers.

This decision came out of deliberations of the working group that was activated last September and has as its mandate a more comprehensive recycling programme through which to channel the recovery and collection of PET and HDPE-type plastic. This is in a bid to prevent them from entering Jamaica’s waste streams.JMEA director and chairman of the Working Group Committee, Simon Roberts, explained the decision to partner with RPJ.

“Recycling Partners of Jamaica is the best-suited entity to manage and execute the massive initiative to be launched given its framework structure and track record.

The phased approach will see vast changes over the next few months,” said Roberts

“However, the support of all Jamaicans is needed to ensure the success of this initiative. We implore all Jamaicans to get on board and support these recycling efforts.”