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NEGRIL, Westmoreland, Thursday, December 14, 2017: The Ministry of Tourism’s commitment to sustainable destination management has resulted in 16 primary and high schools in Hanover and Westmoreland collecting 360,000 plastic bottles in less than six months in their communities.
The bottles, weighing 14,686 pounds, were collected as part of the Negril Recycling Competition sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ) and the Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT).
Mount Airy Primary and Infant School emerged overall winner while also taking the top prize in the primary school category, having collected 30,000 bottles. As a reward, the school received a projector, a 50-inch flat screen television, an all-in-one printer, scanner and copier, and a plaque presented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Jennifer Griffith. Second place among primary schools was Negril All Age while Revival All-Age took third spot.
Among the high school participants in the competition, Godfrey Stewart High took first place with a collection of 28,125 plastic bottles and was rewarded with three desktop computers and an all-in-one printer, scanner and copier. Rhodes Hall High School collected 20,425 bottles to claim second place.
Speaking at the competition’s awards ceremony at Royalton Negril last week, Executive Director of TPDCo, Dr. Andrew Spencer, noted that the competition had brought out the students drive and passion in a positive way and he underscored the importance of environmental stewardship and what could be done to contribute positively to tourism as the economy’s mainstay.
He reminded from Nature Conservancy 2016 that, “Environmental stewardship is the responsible use and conservation of the earth’s natural resources through practices that help preserve our world.”
Dr Spencer told the gathering of students, “We must continue to do the work despite the challenges, if we are to leave a legacy for the next generation. We must harness the collective will and energies of young and old to make Jamaica the place to live, work, do business and raise families as is our Vision 2030 goal.
He also appealed for more agents of change in society sharing their enthusiasm for environmental stewardship. The participants were implored “not to treat this activity as just a competition in a moment of time but as a cultural shift which will see you advocating and acting in a most responsible way to protect our environment.”
The recycling initiative in resort areas is one of the activities implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies to mark 2017 being declared the Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).