The Benefits Of Recycling In Jamaica

2635 words - 11 pages

In 2009 America alone produced enough garbage to circle the earth 24 times! Now that’s a lot of trash. Did you know that 6% of Jamaicans generate one plastic bottle per day; this gives you about 52 million plastic bottles per year. This is according to the recycling study; “Recovery of plastic bottles for recycling: A study of responsible environmental behavior at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. But isn’t there a way to turn that trash into reusable material that would create a clean and sustainable environment? Yes there is? This practice is known as recycling. Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. (11 facts about ...view middle of the document...

Recycling may be defined as the reprocessing of materials into new products. (Dallas Sierra Club, 2008) Recycling is not a new trend; it has been a common practice throughout the ages as persons have been practicing recycling for many years in one form or the other. According to Leah Blunt in her article ‘The History of Recycling’ (2011), archaeologists have found evidence of recycling that took place around or perhaps earlier than 400 B.C. As early romans would recycle bronze coins in order to make statues. Additionally during war time everything from metal to precious jewelry would be melted to make weapons. Recycling continued throughout the years as many household and daily items were being reused as it was easier to reuse the old things than obtain new ones. However the progress of recycling was stalled by the Industrial Revolution, when persons no longer needed to conserve or reuse items as things began to be mass produced.
However World crises, for example, the Great Depression and the pre and post-World War I eras made recycling favorable once more. Persons were encouraged to conserve and re- use for the sole purpose of preserving limited and scarce resources. Yet the post-World War II period saw recycling taking a back seat again as the world’s economy was once again revitalized. As Blunt (2011) states “this prosperous time for the nation meant much less attention was paid to conservation and preservation compared to tougher times.”
In addition to these world crises, there are other factors that helped the act of recycling to become more widespread. As it was not until the establishment of organization such as the environment protection agencies and bodies, in the 1960’s and 70’s, to ensure that this time recycling practices would not die again that recycling really attracted a worldwide notice. With the decrease of the Earth’s resources persons began to take action to prevent this depletion from continuing. The United States spearheaded the change of environmental awareness by establishing organizations to create a more sustainable living environment through the process of conservation. These organizations were National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA), and the formation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Throughout the years the practice of recycling has spread around the world. Different nations concerned with fostering an environment that would prove economically sustainable created their own EPA in order to preserve and conserve non-renewable resources.
The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) was established in 1999 to advocate and educate Jamaicans, often through the use of campaigns, on environmental issues such as the protection and conservation of our natural resources. While the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) of Jamaica was established in 2001. Campaigns were undertaken to increase awareness of recycling and to encourage persons to be environmentally conscious. For example; the...

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