Vision 2030 Jamaica launches campaign to “Beat Plastic Pollution”
From Plastic bags, to plastic bottles, microbeads, Styrofoam and more, our streets, gullies and not mention our harbour are filled with them. The Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat has joined the global initiative to work towards addressing this epidemic through its Corporate Social Responsibility Project “Beating Plastic Pollution”.
The Beating Plastic Pollution Campaign was launched during National Environment Awareness Week (June 3 – 8, 2018). This campaign is intended to raise awareness on one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, plastic pollution, and to change the mind-set of our people from disposable to reusable through adopting the approach of the 6R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Refuse, Rethink, Repair and Recycle.
The theme of National Environmental Awareness Week, which included World Environment Day (June 5), Solid Waste Management Day (June 7) and World Oceans Day (June 8), was “beating plastic pollution”.
Statistics show that between 5.3 million and 14 million tons of unrecycled plastic waste end up in the ocean annually, the genesis of which were plastic items dumped carelessly on land or in rivers and blown or washed into the sea. Additionally, ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year. 448 million tons of plastic are produced every year, globally, much of which is used for packaging and is discarded within minutes after purchase. Based on the statistics it is evident that this is a growing global epidemic that Vision 2030 Jamaica wanted to play a role in addressing, through this campaign we will not only raise awareness on plastic pollution but also provide members of the general public with a means through which they can jump start this lifestyle change by distributing reusable materials, such as bottles, bags and mugs, to encourage the 6 R’s and hopefully help establish a culture of saying “No” to single use materials.
From a domestic perspective plastic items that are not recycled often end up on our streets and washed or blown into our drains and gullies which become blocked and result in dangerous flooding when there is a significant amount of rainfall. Also associated with the blockage of drains and flooding is stagnant water which subsequently becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes which are carriers of many diseases, this example is one of the many bi-problems of plastic pollution.
In recognition of National Environmental Awareness Week the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat participated in a number of activities under the “Beating Plastic Pollution” Campaign:
· Church of Ascension’s Environment and Disaster Preparedness Display
· Partnerships with NEPA, GEF Small Grants Programme and MEGJC to beat plastic pollution
· Jamaica Recycling Business Symposium
Church of Ascension’s Environment Disaster Preparedness Display
To kick off National Environment Week, on June 3, 2018, Vision 2030 Jamaica mounted a booth at the Church of Ascension’s Environment and Disaster Preparedness Display. This was used as an opportunity to pre-launch the Secretariats “Beating Plastic Pollution Campaign”. Members of the Secretariat engaged children on the dangers of plastic pollution and what role they can play in tackling this global problem during Sunday school. Members of the church from children to adults also received reusable bottles, glass mugs and tote bags.
Partnerships with NEPA, GEF Small Grants Programme and MEGJC to beat plastic pollution
On June 4, 2018, the Secretariat formalized its partnership with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the GEF Small Grants Programme and the Environment Risk Management Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) for its campaign to “beat plastic pollution”. Vision 2030 Jamaica reusable paraphernalia, were handed over to NEPA, GEF Small Grants Programme and the Environment Risk Management Division of MEGJC to form a combined effort to distribute these items.
Through this partnership NEPA, the Environment Risk Management Division of the MEGJC and the GEF Small Grants Programme will assist the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat with sensitizing members of the general public on the great environmental challenge of plastic pollution and the role they can play in addressing this global epidemic. They will also assist in distributing Vision 2030 Jamaica reusable items, such as water bottles, aluminium bottles, glass mugs and cloth tote bags.
Jamaica Recycling Business Symposium
On Tuesday June 5, 2018 the Vision 2030 Jamaica Communications Team participated in the Jamaica Recycling Business Symposium held at the Spanish Court Hotel. This platform was used to officially launch the Secretariats “beating plastic pollution campaign“. Participants of the Symposium and members of the general public were sensitized on the dangers of plastic pollution and received reusable Vision 2030 Jamaica Paraphernalia.
Vision 2030 Jamaica Partners with NEPA for International Plastic Bag Free Day
Our beating Plastic Pollution Campaign is an ongoing initiative, the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat once again partnered with NEPA on July 3, 2018- International No Plastic Bag Day, this presented a unique opportunity to spread the word that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available, exhibits were conducted at two Hi-Lo Food Stores (Pavillion Mall and Cross Roads) in observance of the day. A total of 300 reusable cloth tote bags were distributed to Hi-Lo shoppers and shoppers were also sensitized on the dangers of plastic pollution and what role they can play in tackling this global epidemic.