Thu | Nov 22, 2018

KFTL gets drastic on plastic

Published:Saturday | July 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited staff members loading up the super-sacks filled with plastic bottles for collection by the Recycling Partners of Jamaica.

In keeping with its ongoing drive to raise public awareness of the importance and impact of good environmental stewardship, Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL) is applauding its more than 1,000 employees for their overwhelming response to its KFTL Go Blue: Recycling Begins With You project.

The company collected an estimated 30,000 plastic bottles over a six-week period, consistent with the global 'Plastic-Free July' challenge to refuse to use single-use plastic items during the month. The aim is to encourage more people to become aware of their plastic use and make an effort to reduce this by refusing to use plastic shopping bags, takeaway food containers, coffee cups and drinking straws, among other items.

Launched on World Environment Day (Tuesday, June 5), the KFTL project incorporated a range of features focused on improving waste management and energy and resource conservation at the facility. Colour-coded garbage collection bins were placed in strategic locations across the terminal to facilitate separation of waste streams by staff and other stakeholders. The separated waste was then collected by KFTL's designated contractor, Recycling Partners of Jamaica.

Christopher Gayle, KFTL's environmental specialist, was impressed by the response.

"The support has been remarkable so far. Waste-separation practices are part of an overall behavioural change which is necessary for us to see real impact, so we will continue to raise awareness so that the efforts are seen not just on the port, but also in our wider communities," he said.

 

Environmental footprint

 

The major objective of the KFTL Go Blue initiative is to reduce the environmental footprint of KFTL's operations through energy/resource conservation and recycling/ solid waste management.

To this end, KFTL has discontinued the supply of single-use plastic straws at its canteen facility and is progressing with plans to replace Styrofoam foodware with biodegradable containers.

The Recycling Partners of Jamaica reported that between March 2014 and March 2017, it collected over 3.3 million pounds of plastic, or more than 100 million plastic bottles from the local environment.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com