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Vaz clarifies $75 million gov’t commitment on waste disposal | News

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Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz is seeking to clarify a statement that $75 million would be committed by the Government over three years towards the implementation of a plastic bottle deposit scheme.

Vaz made the announcement at a forum hosted by Conservation Through Education Jamaica at the Urban Development Corporation’s Orange Park in downtown Kingston last Friday.

Reacting to the news, environmentalist and Gleaner columnist Peter Espeut requested clarification on how the J$75 million would be spent, questioning if it is “going to be a political project to employ people”.

In a statement this morning, Vaz said, in actuality, the money is earmarked for the “Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” campaign.

Vaz, who has responsibility for the environment, noted that the” Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” campaign would receive financial support of $25 million per year, over three years.

“The “Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” campaign, which is spearheaded by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and Wisynco, is a component of the Clean Coasts Project and aims to increase public education about the impact of improper waste disposal on the environment and on the health of Jamaicans,” he explained.

“[I] was heartened by the announcement made by the Most Hon. Prime Minister during his budget speech, that the Government will be working with industry players through Recycling Partners to implement a plastic bottle deposit scheme similar to the one for glass bottles, especially since plastic bottles have replaced glass as the container of choice for manufacturers and distributors of water, juices, and sodas.

“It is an initiative that is sorely needed, because we use and dispose of almost one billion PET bottles annually, which is roughly equivalent to 350 bottles per Jamaican each year. This Government recognises the impact that improper solid waste disposal is having on the country and is taking several steps to rectify the problem”, Vaz added. 

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