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Awaken New Depths: Civil Society Embraces the Challenge of Plastic Recycling in Grenada and Dominica

Awaken New Depths: Civil Society Embraces the Challenge of Plastic Recycling in Grenada and Dominica

OECS Media Release

June 7, 2024 — As the world commemorates World Oceans Day on June 8 with the theme, "Awaken New Depths," the Recycle OECS Project underscores the significant strides made in Grenada and Dominica through active civil society involvement. This project, aimed at reducing plastic pollution and fostering sustainable waste management across the Eastern Caribbean, has achieved game-changing milestones with the buy-in and participation of critical civil society stakeholders.

In Grenada, the Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority (GSWMA) has secured a critical Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA). This agreement, covering up to 90% of GHTA’s membership, marks a pivotal step in addressing plastic waste challenges. Hotels across the island have committed to introducing waste sorting at their facilities and delivering sorted plastics to the GSWMA Recycling Centre, setting the trend for sustainable tourism practices in the Eastern Caribbean.

Further reinforcing Grenada’s commitment, the Grenada Green Group (G3) unveiled plans for a 'Plastic Bottle Collection Campaign' on May 22, 2024. The G3 aims to collect PET and HDPE plastic bottles, focusing on public awareness and active participation. Starting on World Oceans Day, June 8, 2024, the campaign will see weekly collection events and the establishment of recycling depots across the island. This grassroots initiative, supported by the Recycle OECS Project and the GSWMA, underscores the critical role of community involvement in combating plastic pollution.

Impressive strides have been made in Dominica by the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation (DSWMC). The Zero Waste Schools Program, launched in March, has already seen the collection of over 57,834 plastic bottles in April alone. This program, involving 2,800 students from 35 schools and 40 4H clubs, is transforming schools into hubs of eco-innovation with greenspaces, composting facilities, and recycling depots. Additionally, the program launched the BCRC Tide Turners app challenge, engaging students in sustainable practices through an interactive platform.

Highlighting the importance of collective regional action, Hon. Kerrynne James, Grenada’s Minister of Climate Resilience, the Environment, and Renewable Energy stated in a video message: "Pollution transcends boundaries, making this a shared problem requiring a unified solution. It's a call to arms for Member States, the private sector, and every citizen. Together, we can address this menace through collaboration and innovation." This rallying cry underscores the spirit of World Oceans Day, inspiring collective action to protect our oceans and climate.

As the Recycle OECS Project progresses, several major achievements have been realized: The development of the OECS Model Framework for Sustainable Recycling sets a regional standard for recycling practices. Comprehensive waste characterisation studies conducted in Dominica and Grenada tailor effective recycling strategies and reduce ocean pollution. Dominica's inaugural shipment of recyclable plastics showcases practical recycling achievements, turning the tide on plastic pollution. Sustainable financing mechanisms developed for Dominica and Grenada will help secure financial models that ensure long-term recycling success and ocean health. The establishment of standard operating procedures for recycling operations creates best practices for efficient and effective recycling across the OECS. Lastly, Dominica’s Zero Waste Schools Program engages the private sector to foster a new generation committed to zero waste and ocean conservation.

Two additional significant developments include the upgrading of the new multi-purpose recycling facility at Queen's Park with three-phase power for efficient plastic processing and the provision of technical support to the Department of Sustainable Development in Saint Lucia. This support includes preparing revised draft legislation to progress a beverage container deposit refund system and developing a sustainable waste financing system for the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSWMA), as well as conducting a cost-benefit analysis of SLSWMA operations, including recycling.

The Recycle OECS project is a two-year initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by the OECS Commission in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). It aims to develop a model waste separation, collection, and recycling program that is self-financing, sustainable, and viable for the region. The demonstration projects in Grenada and Dominica provide essential insights into the feasibility of implementing a plastic waste treatment infrastructure across the OECS, with the potential to strengthen the region’s economy and safeguard its marine and coastal resources.

Danny Moonie Communications / Knowledge Management Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States






About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia