Recycling is way to go

…‘Govt must give incentives’

By Carla Bridglal

Trinidad and Tobago may be a primarily hydrocarbon energy-based economy, but as the rate of climate change and global warming accelerates at a faster than normal rate due to human intervention, the country needs to become a regional leader.

This was just one of the points Trinidad-born environmental activist Caroline Lewis made yesterday during a presentation to members of the business community and others at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Westmoorings.

“I think you have to continue using those profits from oil and gas and use it to fund development of renewable energy sources because the cost of oil and gas is going to get prohibitive. You should prepare yourself for the transition, but in the mean time enjoy it,” she told the Express afterwards.

Lewis, the founder of Miami-based climate change advocacy group The CLEO Institute, said Trinidad and Tobago has the potential to be the leader in the Caribbean for adopting and developing renewable energy technologies.

She pledged the aid and the possible establishment of a CLEO satellite office here to boost the industry.

But, she noted, while Trinidadians were on the right track, citizens were spoilt because of the obscenely cheap price of gas, a disincentive for, among other things, walking.

The Government has to incentivise recycling, she said.

In Trinidad Plastikeep, a non-profit organisation funded by the Government’s Green Fund, has over 50 plastic collection bins in the Diego Martin and Port of Spain areas, a pilot project to determine the public’s participation in recycling.

Education officer Christopher Camacho  said that for a small developing nation, Trinidad and Tobago produces 800 kilogrammes of waste per person annually—significantly more than an advanced European country’s 680 kilos.

The Plastikeep project has also attracted corporate involvement, with local supermarket chain Hi-Lo allowing Plastickeep bins on the compounds of its stores in Maraval, St Ann’s, Alyce Glen and Westmoorings.