Government is continuing to ignore vital policy recommendations to reduce littering in Barbados while other Caribbean countries have whole-heartedly embraced the same initiatives, Public Relations Officer of the Future Centre Trust (FCT) Kammie Holder has charged.
In delivering remarks during Tuesday’s presentation of brown paper bags by Rock Hard Cement as part of a large-scale initiative to reduce the widespread use of plastic bags, Holder lamented that persistent calls for the Ministry of the Environment to expand the list of items under the Returnable Containers Act had not been heeded.
He complained that countries such as Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada had adopted his organization’s recommendation for an appliance registry in an effort to later trace their owners when improperly disposed.
Yet, Holder said, the Denis Lowe-led ministry had yet to acknowledge the suggestions.
“We have written the Ministry of the Environment on this matter. I have gone as far as Antigua where they have sought to adopt our returnable container measures, as well as the Grenada government who believes that it is a nice piece of legislation. However, we have not been so fortunate to get a response from the Ministry of the Environment on those two initiatives. We don’t know if the letter was lost or misplaced,” lamented Holder.
“Over time we have relentlessly said to the Government that there is a need for an increase of the list items within the Returnable Containers Act. We have also put to the Government that we are willing to manage a database, which would capture all appliances purchased in this country,” he added.
The environmental advocate said the country had failed to adequately deal with the illegal disposal of white goods, and questioned Government’s reluctance to enact control measures that would place very little strain on the public coffers.
“Far too often we are seeing appliances on the streets of Barbados. In years gone by there was a television licence where every television had to be registered, which made for easy tracking. The time is right where that has to happen. It does not call for anything from the Government, all that is called for is Government to put the necessary legislation in place and the Future Centre Trust is willing and able whereby if a piece of garbage is caught where it shouldn’t be, we are able to trace that information. The retailer forwards us that information and we could do the policing,” Holder pointed out.