Consultation and Project Building; Implementation of regional technical projects
UNITE Caribbean by delegation of the French Embassy in the OECS
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; in collaboration with the Government of Saint Lucia and other private and civil society agencies
UNITE Caribbean consultants; public and private technical partners from Saint Lucia, Martinique and more globally the Caribbean
The Pilot Recycling Plastic Waste in the OECS (RePlast OECS) project is a two-year plastic recycling project which is being implemented by UNITE Caribbean. Its aim is to set up an OECS-wide plastic waste collection and recycling system with a pilot phase between Saint Lucia and the Caribbean. The project is funded primarily by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Saint Lucia-based embassy to the OECS and Barbados. The project is also receiving support (in-kind and funding) from the Government of Saint Lucia, the private sector and civil society. In this regard, the project has secured commitments of support from a range of agencies, including the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association (SMA) and Massy Foods from the private sector; development partners such as the GIZ/CATs project, the OECS Commission and the St. Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLNCF); and the St. Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSWMA). In Martinique, technical assistance is being received from the Agence de l'environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (ADEME).
This project responds to a real need as plastic waste, especially plastic bottles have been a major source of environmental degradation for decades. In fact, in many insular Caribbean territories, plastic waste is neither being sorted, recycled or collected.
The Government, public operators, the civil society and the private sector in Saint Lucia have been working together since 2017 to coordinate a collective response to the challenges of collecting, processing and exporting recyclable waste in the Caribbean. Several collection experiments of very limited scope were carried out at the beginning of 2018. The first analyses made it possible to draw a satisfactory assessment but without the technical and financial capacity, a real replicable model was not created and thus, the action was not repeated on a national scale.
In the Caribbean, some territories have specific engineering capacities and an industry specialising in the recycling of plastic bottles. A cooperation project would allow these neighbouring territories to find solutions to their respective problems. It is in this context that this pilot project was elaborated.
The project aims to achieve the following outcomes:
An end-to-end flow facilitating the collection and management of plastic waste (involving public, private and local stakeholders) is set up and operational in Saint Lucia,
Used plastic bottles from Saint Lucia are exported to the wider Caribbean for recycling,
Saint Lucia’s population is aware of the ecological issues surrounding managing and sorting recyclable waste,
Other territories in the Eastern Caribbean (OECS) are ready to replicate the pilot action undertaken.
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