Letter to the Editor-PET collection scheme for a waste-free Seychelles |08 October 2007
Over the last 2 years we have seen an alarming increase in waste pollution; PET bottles, polystyrene lunch boxes, plastic bags, juice cartons, glass bottles. This has both a large and negative impact on the environment, breeding rats and spreading the illnesses they carry, harming nature and wildlife, negatively impacting tourism, as well as possibly the most alarming impact, the effect this has on our society and our children. The “it’s not my responsibility” or “It’s their fault for not providing a bin beside where I am sitting” attitude has unfortunately become all too widespread today in Seychelles and one that our children are in danger of adopting.
The Ministry of Environment has been working hard to develop programmes to counter this growth in pollution and defeat this attitude. For the past 22 months, since the launch of our extremely popular 50cl PET soft drink range, we have been working alongside the ministry to find a way to solve the particular PET pollution problem. During this time, we have run a PET logo campaign to use on all our bottles, and on all others produced here in the Seychelles. We also ran a schools PET collection competition, in order to ensure our children’s attitude to pollution is one of responsibility.
After many hours planning, brainstorming and testing ideas, the Ministry of the Environment alongside Seychelles Breweries and SMB recently announced another step in this battle for a waste free Seychelles, the launch of the PET deposit recycling scheme -- a non-profit making programme for SBL, SMB and the Ministry. Although communication of the scheme has caused some confusion, it is a simple process whereby we want to encourage consumers to act responsibly.
Since the scheme came into force on 1st October, consumers pay an extra 70c for ALL SMB and SBL products in PET bottles, of which 50c is a refundable deposit and 20c goes to the Waste Management Trust Fund, to cover the programme running costs.
Consumers must take all their empty SMB and SBL PET bottles to one of 4 redemption centres on Mahe, 1 on Praslin or 1 on La Digue. At these centres the consumers receive 50c for each bottle (with cap).
All SBL 1.5L bottles are included in this process. You can no longer return them to the shop where you bought them for SR1.
In March we donated SR1 million into the Waste Management Trust Fund to assist with all set up and initial running costs.
Recently, both SMB and SBL announced a further donation to the Trust Fund to cover bottles we already held in stock – in order to ensure we were not profiting by charging more for product that we have not been charged for.
We are also delighted to announce that we are assisting further in this programme through the leasing of our PET crushing machine for SR1 per year to the company – Harini -- who have won the tender for collecting the used PET bottles from the redemption centres, crushing and exporting them for recycling offshore.
The environment and its protection is of vital importance to us all. We can only protect it if we respect it.
Please - A Waste Free Seychelles – for us and for our children.