Target 'filthy J'cans'
Businessmen call for anti-litter drive, plastic-bottle cess
Orantes Moore, Gleaner Writer
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:Businessmen and politicians in St Ann have called for the launch of a major anti-litter drive to help reduce garbage pile-ups on streets of Ocho Rios.
Dr John McDowell, advisory committee member of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce, said the campaign should target drivers and their passengers who are unwittingly ruining the town by failing to dispose of their garbage properly.
"I sincerely feel there has to be a continued clearing-up campaign for the town. The sidewalks are not in a good state," McDowellsaid last Wednesday at a forum hosted by The Gleaner in the resort town.
"I walk around Ocho Rios four mornings a week and I'm horrified by what I see on the sidewalks sometimes. There are some filthy Jamaicans who don't give a hoot. The main offenders are bus passengers, taxi operators and drivers of private vehicles who throw rubbish out of the window when they've finished eating and drinking," McDowell said.
"Something has to be done, because we can't catch them. It's important to mount an anti-litter campaign that has a lot of publicity with small, but attractive 'Don't Litter, Keep Jamaica Tidy' signage put in strategic areas ... . Some of the big private-sector organisations could be induced to get garbage receptacles put in all the buses so people will be encouraged to use them. I really think that might help."
Charge for Plastic Bottles
Similarly, construction manager Marino Mafessanti believes litter is a serious problem in Ocho Rios, but insists the issue can be resolved simply through government intervention.
He explained: "I think everyone can understand that one of the principal sources of garbage are those damn plastic bottles that pervade everywhere.
"I think everybody importing plastic bottles should be charged a deposit. For those who dispose of them properly, there will be no additional charge. And for those who don't, we will go back to adding an incentive to schoolchildren to pick up 50 plastic bottles at the weekend and trade them in for the deposit.
Mafessanti added: "The problem is the plastic bottle is seen as a disposable item, but I think we can automatically solve a lot of our garbage problems, be it by virtue of a deposit or by virtue of recycling."