Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Recycling is easier than you think

Published:Tuesday | September 26, 2017 | 12:09 AM


Jamaica has much natural beauty, stunning views, amazing beaches and rainforests coupled with rivers that can make one's heart stop with the breathtaking majesty. However, we have one massive blight accompanying this beauty: garbage.

Everywhere one looks, one sees garbage, be it the beach littered with plastic bottles, the river choked with plastic bags, or even the streets where condom wrappers (and used condoms), juice bags and boxes rule the roost, we see where Jamaica has a garbage (or, more specifically, a recycling) problem.

Many excuses are given for why the waste is both scattered about the place and left to pile up. A lack of skips, a lack of bins, a lack of dustmen, poor education on waste management - all are given as excuses for our garbage problems.

One excuse we are always greeted with is that plastic (especially bottles and bags), is almost impossible to recycle here, and that they just end up in landfills or the waterways clogging things up. That's a cop-out.

The plastic that we all ignore could be used for so many things and be used in ingenious ways that could also (wait for it) provide jobs in a niche market, while also beautifying the nation. I am, of course, speaking of making art and furniture out of the disposed of plastic.

We could begin by making benches and other seating items. Imagine, for example, the bus stop instead of having a rundown shed with the few 'seats' that would make your skin crawl - becoming a new waiting area (the shed would be made of reused plastic) with comfortable, plentiful seats.

With garbage and plastic, in particular, choking the nation, something needs to be done. Instead of whining, instead of doing half measures and instead of ignoring the problem (something we are excellent at), let us address it head-on. Recycling is an easy, cost-effective and quite frankly fun way to reduce garbage in the nation.