Kingston Wharves (KWL) on Saturday capped off a week of activities to observe Earth Day with a plastic bottle collection drive in sections of Newport West. Over 60 large garbage bags of plastic bottles were collected, which were then picked up by Recycling Partners of Jamaica.
Earth Day is observed each year on April 22. The KWL Newport West Earth Day Plastic Bottle Drive was supported by the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), vendors in the area and the staff of Kingston Wharves.
Roan Campbell, Safety, Health and Environment Manager at Kingston Wharves explained that KWL carried out the project as part of its effort to promote sustainable environmental practices within its organization and the wider port community.
“Maintaining a clean environment is very important to the shipping industry because it is an industry that is very vulnerable to the impacts of pollution and environmental degradation,” Mr. Campbell said. He noted that the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles were particularly hazardous to the environment.
“These bottles are widely available, and improper disposal poses great risk to the environment. Our business is located on the coastline, so these bottles can make their way into the harbour and cause significant pollution. In addition to that, even closer to home, they have the potential to clog the drains in the port community and cause flooding.”
Giving details on the initiative, Mr. Campbell explained that during the week leading up to Earth Day, KWL employees from its various locations were encouraged to collect bottles through a staff competition. “Similarly, vendors in the vicinity of our facilities were engaged, and they responded very well by saving the bottles disposed of by their customers,” he said.
Calling the Earth Day Drive a success, Mr. Campbell said Kingston Wharves had an ongoing recycling programme in place. “However, with the focused attention from Earth Day, we plan to expand the programme and sustain these activities throughout the year,” he said.