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Environment

Father and son collect over 100,000 bottles for LASCO REAP competition

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

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Newstead Primary School's Cadell Menzie teamed up with his father and teacher, Clovis Menzie, in a strategic effort to collect the most bottles in this year's LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) competition.

They ended up collecting 132,083 PET bottles and were awarded the LASCO iCool Award at the recent LASCO REAP awards ceremony.

Cadell, who was zealous about contributing to the environment through the removal of PET bottles from his community, tackled the bottle-collection challenge head-on. His strategies secured victory for both his school and the environment.

“Cadell's main strategy was networking; and it wasn't just in the community. He told any and everybody that he was collecting bottles. Friends, strangers, just about everyone,” the elder Menzie explained.

“Cadell also used my friends, who helped him to collect the number of bottles, he did. He told them all to bring him bottles and they more than came through for him. They brought bags and bags of bottles for him over the duration,” Mr Menzie said further.

The father-son team also reached out to institutions such as the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, and other groups in Montego Bay.

Plastic is a present and growing hazard to the environment. When not recycled, they become an unsightly and harmful pollutant to plants and wildlife in the seas and oceans; a significant source of landfill waste; and contribute to blocked drains across the island.

The LASCO REAP initiative has encouraged the formation of good environmental practices in schools all around Jamaica by awarding prizes for the creation and maintenance of school gardens, and the collection of plastic bottles for recycling. In 2017, its fifth anniversary year, LASCO REAP recorded a collection of 10.8 tonnes of plastic bottles, bringing the total number of bottles collected in the competition to over two million.

Founder and chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, was elated by the tremendous effort put in overall by the participating schools.

“The 2.75-million plastic bottles collected by these students, which have been prevented from being washed into the sea to destroy the fish we want to eat and enjoy… is significant and worthy of recognition,” stated Chin.

“Through this programme, children have invented solar stoves, solar birdhouses and kettles, environmental video games, rain-catchment facilities and even gardens with methane extraction. They are indeed playing a very crucial role for this and future societies.”

LASCO is the main sponsor of the programme which was conceptualised by Stephnen Newland of the Roots Underground reggae band.

The competition was established in 2012 and continues to engage schools in activities geared towards the promotion of sustainable environmental practices, including tree planting, recycling, energy conservation, and well-kept school and community environs.

The awards function was staged on Thursday, June 7.

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