Mon | May 20, 2019

Local hotel workers repurpose plastic bottles, beer cans

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2019 | 12:23 AM
Earth Guardians and members of Sandals Montego Bay’s management team show off two of the garbage bins made from used plastic bottles.
Sandals Montego Bay’s Earth Guardians Denzel Whilby and Veronica Campbell secure empty plastic bottles used to make garbage bins for the resort.
Shantal Smith helps Samuel Gordon to make the bin’s foundation, using wire and cement as the binding agents.
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MAKING GARBAGE bins from empty plastic bottles and beer cans is the latest initiative of team members of Sandals Montego Bay, who are keen on environmental conservation.

Spearheading the initiative is the resort’s environment, health and safety officer Haniff Richards, who is encouraging other companies in Jamaica to explore the activity as one way to manage waste and encourage recycling among their employees.

“Plastic bottles and cans are collected at Sandals Montego Bay daily as a part of our waste management programme and are usually given to Jamaica Recycles. From that daily collection, our team members, known as Earth Guardians, came up with the idea to use these waste bottles to make garbage bins that guests and team members can use on the property,” Richards said.

He noted that cement and wire are used to bind the bottles together to form the foundation of the bins. After the foundation is formed, cement is again used to give the bins’ exterior a clean, presentable finish.

“Even though we used waste plastic bottles to make the bins, the finished product looks very good, so they can be placed in public areas. We have even printed signs with the logo of the Earth Guardians so people can be reminded that they should protect the environment,” he said.

SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT

Meanwhile, Richards’ team of Earth Guardians will be making a few more bins for the 26-acre property at Sandals Montego Bay before they take the project to schools in the second city.

“We want to get the children involved in this project. We will encourage them to collect the bottles, and we go in and help them to put everything together. Montego Bay’s tourism is prosperous because of the environment, so we want to get the children more involved in protecting it,” he said.

Sandals and Beaches Resorts are certified by Earth Check, a global benchmarking body that seeks to ensure that corporations adhere to environmentally sustainable practices. Currently, nine resorts in the chain hold Master Platinum certification, signifying 15 or more years of adherence to sound environmental practices.

The company also recently placed a ban on plastic straws and styrofoam at all 19 Sandals & Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean.