Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee to Chair Recommendations Committee Regarding Plastic/Styrofoam use in Jamaica.

I haven't written in a while, but by now there has been a public announcement about my chairing a multi-disciplinary committee on what to do with styrofoam and other non-biodegradable waste. This will be an interesting assignment for me - it is certainly an issue we need to begin to focus on as a country moving forward. The levels of waste in our gullies and roadways present flooding risks when drains are blocked. The environmental impacts are obvious. To simply believe that this is the government's problem is also irresponsible; we cannot abdicate our own role in ensuring waste is properly disposed of. Just because there aren't enough garbage skips where we want them, and the frequency of garbage collection isn't to our satisfaction doesn't give us the license to simply chuck the garbage into the nearest gully or right out the window where we are. That doesn't deal with the styrofoam or black plastic bag problem itself, but it would allow for better solid waste management. It's not the government that's responsible for picking up after us; if we're going to behave like messy children, that's the role of yo mama.

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We are to present our findings in 100 days, but, to be clear, that 100 days hasn't started yet. We're putting together the best committee comprised of all relevant stakeholders to arrive at an environmentally AND economically responsible solution for all of us. Environmental stakeholders need to realize that, in our society, people, when given the choice of paying more to save the environment or save a buck, they're going to choose the latter. Manufacturers and packagers need to realize that the short- and long-term impacts of the waste their products generate far outpace whatever profits they make, and that the better investment is to come up with a better mouse trap. The National Solid Waste Management needs to understand that it cannot wave the white flag and simply complain that they do not have enough resources to tackle the problem; this is not an all-or-nothing game, and every bit of effort helps make a dent into the problem we're facing. It's very simple once we're all on the same page. Everybody in Jamaica, as far as I'm concerned, is on the committee with me, and I look forward to your help.

Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, Director of the Mona Geoinformatics Institute, is to chair a multi-stakeholder committee to be formed by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to review the importation of non-biodegradable materials (including plastic bags and polystyrene foam) into Jamaica for packaging.

See more at:
Jamaica Information Service - http://jis.gov.jm/committee-make-recommendations-plasticstyrofoam/

The Jamaica Observer - http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Committee-to-make-recommendations-on...

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