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TEF backs International Clean-Up Day

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — International Coastal Cleanup Day, the event which is spearheaded annually by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), was celebrated last Saturday, September 15, boosted by a $10 million investment by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

The clean-up activities took place only days before the announcement by the Government of its decision to implement a ban on single use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam containers starting January 1, 2019.

TEF put $8 million into the clean-up day programme, and an additional $2 million for the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies to participate.

International Coastal Cleanup Day is coordinated globally by the Ocean Conservancy (USA) and locally by JET. TEF has been a major sponsor of the islandwide coastal cleanup initiative since 2008.

TEF has been supporting the effort for the past 10 years, spending some $50 million in the process.

It attracts millions of volunteers in more than 100 countries, who clean up beaches and waterways to raise awareness about marine pollution.

Last year, Jamaica had 9,675 volunteers at over 147 sites, which was the 12th largest ICC event in the world. This was also the largest ICC day turnout in the English-speaking Caribbean.

“It is very encouraging and heart-warming to see that as Jamaicans, we not only spend the time and energy to clean up our coastlines, but we also demonstrate to the world that we are environmentally responsible,” TEF's Executive Director Dr Carey Wallace commented.

He also noted that last year some 93 miles of coastline was cleaned under the programme.

The Ministry of Tourism's clean-up activities took place at 15 beaches across the island, involving 487 volunteers from Destination Assurance Councils, Tourism Action Clubs, as well as members of staff participating.

Balford Henry

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