On Thursday, 200 recycling bins, shaped like black plastic water tanks will be placed throughout Port of Spain to help "beautify" and reduce the number of plastic bottles. The project was created by a private company, Container Recycling Services Ltd.
At the launch of the Every Bottle Back facility at 40 Charlotte Street, Port of Spain on Wednesday, Container Recycling Services's project leader Jose Luis Guillermety said more will be seen throughout the country soon.
But in addition, individuals can take their plastics to the facility and be paid five cents for each plastic bottle
they bring in.
The company is also responsible for sorting and exporting the plastics to international plants to be processed into new bottles within three to four years. Its aim is to develop a processing plant in TT so it can cut costs and be done sooner.
Guillermety said the next step is to hold talks with business places that use a lot of plastic bottles to get them to take
them to the facility.
"We think we can turn this into a business that can generate jobs, among other benefits for TT."
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Faris Al-Rawi added the bottles can be reused once they are treated properly which will reduce the need to buy plastic bottles from foreign markets.
He said, "We can reintegrate it, save foreign exchange and we can create an economy. You know what that means? We can stop flooding, our city looks beautiful and that TT has pride."
Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez said with these recycling bins and the facility, flooding can be drastically decreased or stopped entirely, as waterways will not be blocked. He said Charlotte Street was chosen because it is the "buzz of Port of Spain" and added, "We would like to see a pedestrianised street or boulevard, with stores on either side and vending in the middle."
He said this can be achieved with recycling.
Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said, "Ninety per cent of 481.6 billion used plastic bottles end up in our landfills, water courses and oceans every single year."
He said because of this problem and bottles not being biodegradable, the recycling initiative is important to help better people's lives and achieve sustainable development goals.
The initiative involves plastic containers and bottles, but executive chairman of Blue Waters Dominic Hadeed wants to expand on the plastics recycled.
He said, "It is my hope, one day that industries can go beyond just plastic bottles or containers and drift into other areas such
as tyres and car batteries to move the economy away from depending on gas."
Al-Rawi also added that another facility will be opened in San Fernando West and he is working on strengthening the affairs of the ministry. He said this can be done by handing over the "power and authority" to the regional corporations. The legislation that will bring this to fruition is being taken to
the Senate, since the Local Government Reform Bill has been passed in the House of Representatives.