February 12, 2014 marked the launch of Recycle Now Jamaica, an island wide recycling program. The theme of the event - recycle, reuse and reduce was echoed throughout the entire room as guests listened attentively to each person as they graced the platform with their speeches about the importance of our environment.
Recycle Now Jamaica is a new national recycling initiative being spearheaded by the Government of Jamaica and leaders in the manufacturing industry. The partnership with the Government of Jamaica through Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) will see the creation of a nonprofit, “Recycling Partners of Jamaica”.
The event got under way minutes after 10 am with the Master of Ceremonies, Mr.Francois Chalifour introducing the prestigious members seated at the platform party.
Mr.Mahfood’s remarks were followed by the vibrant Jose Sanabaria, the Caribbean Vice-President, CBC who briefly commended the Jamaican Government for seeing the importance of taking care of the environment and helping with the overall beautification of the island.
The very vocal CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust, Diana McCaulay commenced her remarks by stating, “I’m very happy to be here because in my line of work there is rarely good news”, a remark which was greeted with an out pour of laughter. Ms. McCaulay went on to share a comment made by a couple, that Jamaica is a beautiful country but they were disturbed by the obvious solid waste problems.
The Hon. Noel Arscott, the Minister of Local Government and Community Development made mention of Pepsi and Wisynco as being two of the main donors of the initiative. He used the platform to encourage other companies who use plastic bottles and packaging to come aboard where recycling is concerned.
The Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change began his very engaging presentation by firstly, acknowledging Ms. Diana McCaulay who he stated jokingly that it was the first time they were on the same program and were a 100 percent on the same side. Mr. Pickersgill went on to share that 10 percent of the bottles manufactured in the world ends up in the ocean.
The Minister of Transport Works and Housing, Mr. Omar Davis was the main speaker for the launch. He began his presentation by stating, “Too much of Jamaica’s beauty is tarnished by litter.” He made mention of some of the economic benefits of the initiative such as it can reduce manufacturing costs and consumers will become more environmentally inclined.
The educating of students on recycling will be top priority as students are vital because they can influence what happens at home.
Mrs. Lucille Brodber, Project Director of JEEP gave the vote of thanks to bring the launch to its close.
Also in attendance, other officials, industry partners, social entrepreneurs and concerned citizens all interested in knowing more about the program. An initiative of this magnitude is no small feat. Let us work towards a sustainable future for Jamaica.