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Bottles water

A large quantity of bottled water has been imported into St. VIncent in response to the eruption of La Soufriere. (iWN photo)

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The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has allocated EC$300,000 to help clean up the “tsunami of plastic bottles coming into the country” in response to last month’s explosive eruption of La Soufriere.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said that the country is importing “more water bottles than ever before.

“And if we allow them to accumulate, it will reverse a lot of the good work that we’ve done with the banning of single use plastic bags and the like.”

He told Parliament on Tuesday that the country’s lone recycler has indicated that its factory has the capacity to recycle more bottles, but he doesn’t have the capacity or the network to collect and deliver all of the additional bottles.

“So we’re entering … into a public-private partnership with that recycler to the tune of $300,000 to ensure that all of these additional bottles, and we are anticipating maybe 21 million bottles this year, will be recycled.”

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The finance minister said that each shelter resident drinks five bottles of water a day.

“So there’s a $300,000 allocation in the budget to help recycle the additional plastic bottles that are in the country,” Gonsalves said.  

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