Plastic bottle refund deposit scheme on track — Matthew Samuda

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Chairman of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Senator Matthew Samuda, says plans are on track for the launch of the deposit refund scheme for plastic bottles this year.

The scheme, which will provide a cash refund to consumers who return their plastic bottles, is intended to reduce littering and encourage recycling. It will be implemented by Recycling Partners Jamaica Limited.

Depositors will be paid a minimum of $1 for each polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottle delivered to Recycling Partners depots across the island.

“We’re well on the way because money is being put aside… by the private-sector entities, who have put a $1 cess on themselves for each plastic bottle to raise $850 million this year,” Samuda noted.

The money will go towards the collection of the bottles, including purchasing trucks.

Samuda, who was addressing a meeting today at the BSJ’s offices along Winchester Avenue, St Andrew, explained that the idea to establish a value for each plastic bottle, as opposed to imposing a fee based on weight, was because PET bottles tend to have little or no weight.

He said that as the programme evolves, it is expected that the private sector will provide details to the public about the process for refunds of deposits and drop-off points.

Samuda said that the deposit refund scheme will have many benefits. “Firstly, it would allow for the creation of a green industry based entirely on the notion of waste as a resource. The collected and recycled bottles can be used to make a number of items, including material for carpets and synthetic fibres and other materials,” he noted.

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