Sun | Dec 11, 2016

JET launches new clean-up campaign

Published:Tuesday | January 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

"Nuh dutty up Jamaica."  That instructive sentence is more than a directive from the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET).

It is actually the slogan for its latest clean-up campaign, which is slated to be launched on February 4 when it goes public with the dirty details of its national report for International Coastal Clean-up Day 2014.

"It's the same thing year after year, and maybe that, in and of itself, is scary to me, because we're finding thousands and thousands of plastic bottles on our beaches," programme director Suzanne Stanley shared with The Gleaner.

"There was actually one site this year that we found 11,000 plastic bottles on a beach. Can you imagine 11,000 plastic bottles on one little stretch of the Port Maria (St Mary) coastline? I have a picture of it and it's horrendous," Stanley disclosed.

After many years, it, is this kind of repeat situation that prompted JET to look in a new direction to spur environmental awareness and stewardship among Jamaicans.

Failed campaigns

"What we realised is that a lot of campaigns that have been run in Jamaica, and around the world as well, have been kind of 'Keep Jamaica Clean', and as we can see from recent photos, they haven't really worked," the environmentalist lamented.

"We are not really confident that they drove the message home in the way that we intended. So we decided to go with something a bit more colloquial because we wanted something that would speak more to Jamaica, just rather than it being 'Keep Jamaica Clean'."

Stanley continued: "We want to use something that people can relate to, and no one likes their area to be 'dutty'. They don't want their area dirty, they don't want their country to be considered dirty, so that's the name of the campaign."

She explained that JET had invested a lot of time with focus groups, in order to come with the right approach, to make the clean-up campaign sustainable beyond the initial one-year time frame, with a focus on stakeholders in the tourism sector.

"We are really targeting those working in the tourism sector and also students who are living in those resort areas who we expect to go and work in the tourism sector. So we want to build an appreciation for the environment and environmental protection and good solid waste management amongst those persons working in a sector that is so heavily dependent on it."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com