Results of JET’s 2017 Cleanup Campaigns Underscore Jamaica’s Plastic Problem


JET has just released two reports on its impressive cleanup efforts last year. It’s no surprise that plastic dominated their findings. A TOTAL OF 315,517 plastic bottles collected! Here’s their press release. Do read the reports, and let it sink in. What are you doing today to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle plastic – bottles in particular?

January 30, 2018

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has released two reports highlighting the results of its International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day and Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica (NDUJ) Cleanup Network activities in 2017. Topping the list of items collected by cleanup volunteers across Jamaica in 2017 is plastic beverage bottles. Results from ICC Jamaica activities on September 16, 2017 show a record 160,628 pounds of garbage being collected from beaches across the island, including nearly 300,000 plastic beverage bottles. Meanwhile, the efforts of volunteers participating in the NDUJ Cleanup Network in 2017 resulted in 5,431 pounds of garbage being collected, including 15,517 plastic bottles.
“It came as no surprise that plastic bottles were the number one item collected during these cleanup efforts,” said Suzanne Stanley, JET CEO, “this is a longstanding trend we have seen over the many years JET has coordinated cleanups in Jamaica.” She continued, “Many Jamaicans believe carelessly discarding their one plastic bottle cannot be a problem. They do not appreciate that every single piece of garbage thrown carelessly in the street or a gully contributes to the ever-increasing scope and scale of Jamaica’s solid waste management issues.” 
ICC Jamaica 2017 marked JET’s 10th anniversary as national coordinators and saw 9,675 volunteers from across the island cleaning up approximately 104 miles of coastline. The Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica Cleanup Network was launched in March 2017. Under that programme, 14 groups, including community-based organizations, NGOs, service clubs and academic institutions, coordinated over 650 volunteers to stage Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica themed community cleanups across Jamaica between April and December 2017.
A sea of plastic bottles. This was in Seaview Gardens, in 2015. (My photo)
Both ICC Jamaica and NDUJ Cleanup Network activities in 2017 were funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).  “The Tourism Enhancement Fund is pleased to have supported JET on their hugely successful cleanup programs in 2017,” said Executive Director of TEF, Dr Carey Wallace. “The collaboration and focus of thousands of well thinking Jamaicans to lend their time, energy and financial resources towards cleaning up our beaches and communities, augers well for the future of this blessed island.”
ICC Jamaica 2017 also received support from the Yello Media Group, Recycling Partners of Jamaica, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Jamaica Biscuit Company. The NDUJ Cleanup Network is one component of the Clean Coasts Project, which also receives funding from the Wisynco Group.
“Over the years Jamaica’s garbage has been transformed by increased use of plastic and other forms of non-biodegradable materials in packaging,” said Stanley, “as such we have the responsibility as Jamaicans to transform the way we manage our garbage by reducing the amount of waste we generate, reusing non-biodegradable materials whenever possible, recycling where facilities exist, and most of all by always putting our garbage in a bin.” 
International Coastal Cleanup Day 2017 Report can be viewed here: http://www.jamentrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JET_ICC_National_Report_2017.pdf
Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica Cleanup Network 2017 Report can be viewed here: https://nuhduttyupjamaica.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/jet_nduj_cleanup_network_report_2017.pdf
Contact: Suzanne Stanley, CEO, JET: 470-7580 or sstanley.jet@gmail.com
A mountain of plastic bottles at an ICC beach cleanup on the Palisadoes beach. (My photo)

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