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Wisynco wants gov’t to expedite plastic incentivisation plans

Published:Thursday | September 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
The Kingston waterfront by Michael Manley Boulevard yesterday was lined with waste, including several plastic and Styrofoam products. The Government has announced a ban on the single use of several of these items, effective January 1, 2019, with the aim of reducing environmental pollution such as this.<\n>
William Mahfood, chairman of Wisynco Group Limited.

Chairman of the Wisynco Group William Mahfood is urging the Government to expedite plans to implement a plastic bottle incentivisation scheme.

Speaking at day two of Engineers Week at The Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew on Tuesday, Mahfood said that the deposit refund scheme for plastics would encourage more Jamaicans to recycle.

"Under this scheme, every plastic bottle that is manufactured in Jamaica will have a dollar figure attached to it, which will be charged at the point-of-sale, and then consumers will have the ability to get back their funds when they return the bottle," Mahfood explained.

He made the call in direct response to the Government's announcement on Monday that it will ban the importation, manufacturing, and distribution of some single-use plastic and Styrofoam products effective January 1, 2019.

The Wisynco chairman added that the scheme would also help reduce the large number of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and other items that are being improperly disposed of across the country.

Mahfood said that the plan would be to attain an 80 per cent collection rate of all PET materials.

"That will take us some time to build out the infrastructure and develop the whole system effectively. Once we get to that level, there's enough scale and volume there, which will allow us to take that post-consumer waste and convert it either back into new bottles or reuse it to create other products," he said.

Mahfood has maintained that a ban on plastics is not the answer to the solid-waste problems in Jamaica; but rather, requires proper management on a national scale, which includes proper recycling mechanisms.