Thu | May 23, 2019

Deposit refund scheme by mid-year

Published:Wednesday | February 6, 2019 | 7:08 AM

Government has set a mid-year deadline for the start-up of a national deposit refund scheme that would see consumers being paid a minimum $1 for each polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottle delivered to Recycling Partners of Jamaica depots across the island.

The private sector-led initiative will see an initial investment of J$850 million being used to build out more collection points, add trucks to the fleet, and expand its public awareness programme, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, told yesterday’s weekly sitting of Parliament.

One of the targets is a plastic bottle recovery rate of at least 85 per cent within the next four years of implementation of the scheme.

Additionally, the deposit refund scheme must be supported by a comprehensive and sustained national public education and awareness programme.

Vaz lamented that only a small number of the estimated 850 million plastic bottles that enter the local market each year is collected in the formal waste-management system or recycled after use.