Tue | Sep 26, 2017

JET invites politicians to beach clean-up

Published:Wednesday | September 13, 2017 | 9:00 AMChristopher Serju

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is looking to parliamentarians to lead by example during Saturday's clean-up of some 150 beaches across the island on International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day 2017.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips have been invited to lead their respective parties in cleaning up areas in their constituencies.

"With solid waste being one of Jamaica's main environmental issues, JET encourages the nation's leaders, including our members of parliament, to lead by example and take part in a clean-up this weekend," Suzanne Stanley, deputy CEO of JET, said in a press release.

"We are encouraged by the number of groups and volunteers that have registered for this year's ICC, and hope to see our nation's leaders among those cleaning up Jamaica's coastline."

Beach clean-ups raise awareness about poor disposal of solid waste and encourage a sense of personal responsibility for garbage. Garbage thrown away carelessly in the street and open lots makes its way to coastline via rivers, gullies and drains. Beach clean-ups are the last chance to remove this garbage from the coast before it washes out to sea, where it becomes much more difficult to retrieve.

Last year, more than 109,000 pounds of garbage was collected from Jamaican beaches and riverbanks during ICC 2016.

"A full list of beach clean-up sites can be found on the JET website (www.jamentrust.org). We are encouraging all Jamaicans to check the site list and find a beach clean-up in your area where you can volunteer," urges project coordinator Felicia Wong.

This year marks JET's 24th annual beach clean-up on the Palisadoes Strip in Kingston and its 10th year as the national coordinator of ICC in Jamaica, which it has been delivering in partnership with the Tourism Enhancement Fund since 2008. Championed by Ocean Conservancy, ICC involves volunteers from more than 100 countries picking up garbage and recording data on what they collect from coastlines every year.