The RePLAST OECS Pilot Plastic Collection Project has collected over 150,000 lbs of PET & HDPE Plastic bottles since beginning operations in January 2021.
The plastic collection activities of the RePLAST OECS Project commenced in January 2021 and have been supported by the government of France, the government of Saint Lucia, the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States Commission, and the private sector. Unite Caribbean Ltd., a cooperation development consulting firm, designed and managed the project and is currently implementing a third instalment, primarily supported by the private sector. Unite Caribbean Ltd has been coordinating the combined efforts of the public, community organisations, volunteers and recyclers since the inception. This has resulted in the collection of 150,000 lbs of PET & HDPE plastic bottles and the export of over 91,000 lbs of this material to recycling facilities in the wider Caribbean region.
RePLAST Project Manager and Unite Caribbean’s Director Waste and Water, Ronald Roach, declared « Since we started working on RePLAST OECS, back in 2020, we had this vision of achieving this important milestone. We are proud of the result, and grateful to volunteers, patrons and our partners who made it possible ».
Among those, Heineken Saint Lucia has been a supporter of the project since the early days. The company contributed financially to the project and as a partner in the marketplace. Louise Victor, Corporate Affairs Manager, Heineken St. Lucia, commented “This milestone is commendable and at Heineken Saint Lucia Ltd., we are proud to partner with REPLAST in championing recyclability efforts. The work of REPLAST is aligned to our Brew a Better World ambition which includes maximizing the circularity of our products and giving a second life to all input and output materials.”
Massy Stores is also a key partner of RePLAST OECS. The company was involved in the public education campaign, supported collection points and is one of the biggest rewards partners of the RePLAST marketplace “We congratulate RePLAST-OECS on achieving this milestone. Massy Stores (SLU) continues to be at the forefront of St. Lucia’s plastic reduction and recycling efforts. The company remains committed to support environmental awareness and advocacy groups, waste management and recycling projects.” Says Sariah Best-Joseph, Divisional Head – Marketing & Corporate Communications, Massy Stores St. Lucia Ltd.
The OECS Commission is supporting RePLAST OECS under the ReMLit Project (Building Resilience in the Easter Caribbean through a Reduction of Marine Litter) . “The achievement of this milestone represents a significant step in contributing to a culture of waste separation and recycling in our region in support of a circular economy.” – Susanna Debeauville-Scott, Project Manager, Ocean Governance & Fisheries Project, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission.
Collecting 150,000 lbs of plastic would not have been possible without the engagement of committed and motivated volunteers like Darwin Clement, Coordinator – Northern RePLAST Collection Points, who adds “We will not stop there. Our volunteers will continue the fight to keep the plastic off our streets, landfills and oceans for a better environment, for a better Saint Lucia.”
The impact of the RePLAST OECS project has been far reaching, across different levels of Saint Lucia’s society; prolonging the lifespan of landfill, reducing the frequency of flooding in urban areas and uniting communities towards a common goal of reducing plastic pollution in St. Lucia.