Paper Recycling Initiative

GAIA in partnership with Tetra Pak International and Ace Recycling has embarked on a new paper recycling initiative. The project encourages citizens to recycle paper and Tetra Pak packages by depositing their paper waste, i.e. white and coloured office paper, newspaper, envelopes, cereal boxes, books and magazines and Tetra Paks (milk and juice cartons) into designated Ace Recycling bins that have been strategically placed in various locations across the country.

The project aims to place 30 bins nationwide. At the moment, bins are currently open for public use at Blue Range, Diego Martin, Queen’s Royal College, Haleland Park, Santa Cruz Green Market and Ace Recycling at O’meara Industrial Estate, Arima.

Recyclables Collection Area at the Santa Cruz Green Market

All paper should be clean and dry, then placed into a transparent bag and securely tied before depositing into an Ace Recycling bin near you. When preparing your Tetra Pak packages for recycling, the following steps should be followed:

– If the Tetra Pak has a straw, e.g. juice box, push straw into pack
– Cut open the pack
– Rinse out the pack
– Flatten the pack
– Deposit into a transparent bag
– Securely tie the bag
– Drop-off at Ace Recycling bin

 

Ace Recycling Bin for Paper

Current environmental situation in T&T

Nariva River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Photo Courtesy: Sarah-Lee Manmohan

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s biodiversity is the richest of all the Caribbean islands due to our continental origins.  However, this biodiversity is threatened by deforestation, flooding, pollution, unregulated development, soil erosion, overhunting and overfishing.

Furthermore, Trinidad and Tobago is a small island developing state (SIDS) making us vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, shifting agricultural patterns and more intense and frequent droughts and storms.

In T&T, our overarching environmental legislation is the Environmental Management Act, Chapter 35:05, 2000. This piece of legislation has led to the development and enactment of other supporting pieces of legislation in the areas of water, air and noise pollution and the protection of Environmentally Sensitive Species and Areas.  Other pieces of legislation geared towards natural resource management include the Waterworks and Water Conservation Act, the Conservation for Wildlife Act, the Forests Act and the Fisheries Act.

Despite having a fair suite of environmental laws and regulations, environmental degradation is still a major issue for Trinidad and Tobago. A lack of law enforcement and monitoring, coupled with negative environmental behaviours and a general lack of care for the planet by our citizens has led to the continued destruction of our natural environment. Therefore, in order to overcome these environmental challenges, greater coordination of resources and collaboration between stakeholders is needed, while changes in attitudes and behaviour can be effected through increased political support and the development of education and awareness campaigns focused on sustainable development.