Flexpak Goes Green

Flexpak Limited Technical Director Nigel Hoyow (left) shows Senator Matthew Samuda an example of the company’s biodegradable plastic bags during a tour of the facility last week. (karl Mclarty)

Flexpak Limited, a major player in the manufacturing of plastic packagaging in Jamaica, last week unveiled a line of oxo-biodegradable plastic bags at its head-quarters in Twickenham Park, St Catherine. “We think we have found a solution for plastic bags not to be a major problem in this co ... Read More

Jamaica transfers out some US$3.6 billion annually for fuel. (Chad McDermott) Imported fuels driving Jamaica to financial ruin?
Seeing is believing. If I tell you how big an impact imported fuels make on the country’s weal ... Read More

Solar plants, like this one in Serpa, Portugal, will coninue to dominate the energy landscape as they increasingly require smaller installation spaces and use technologies that extend their usefulness into the night.. Jamaicans stand to profit from collective financing
We saw in last Wednesday’s article, entitled ‘When will JPS prices drop by more than hal ... Read More

Oraine Frater(Photo: Kenyan Hemans) Dancers off to New York
Two Jamaican dancers, Ashley Bromfield and Oraine Frater, will participate in a summer intensive pro ... Read More

Dredging of Kingston Harbour begins

Wednesday, February 22, 2017    

Minister with oversight responsibility for water, works and housing in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Dr Horace Chang (left) and CEO of Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited Olivier Tretout look at sludge dredged from the seafloor at  Port Bustamante, yesterday. (Michael Gordon)

Seven weeks into the dredging of Port Bustamante in the Kingston Harbour to facilitate larger ships coming through the Panama Canal, the company contracted to do the excavation is reporting that there are “no visible impacts” on fishing beaches in proximity to the operation sites. Using a trailing suction hopper dredger with a capacity of 14,000 cubic metres, Sodraco has so far been removing soft material — clay, silt and some sand — and dumping it some 15 miles south-we ... Read More

Wisynco launches biodegradable foam

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor — features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com | Thursday, February 16, 2017    

President of ECM BioFilms Robert Sinclair (right), pours some of his company’s masterbatch pellets into WIlliam Mahfood’s palm. Mahfood is chairman of the Wisynco Group, which announced yesterday that it is now including the pellets in its polystyrene foam production process in order to make the finished product biodegradable. Observing Sinclair and Mahfood are Government senator Matthew Samuda(second left) and Wisynco’s director of manufacturing Devon Reynolds. (Photos: Garfield Robinson)

IT has been said that polystyrene foam, better known as styrofoam, cannot biodegrade. Well, apparently that’s old technology. Faced with overflowing landfills and growing criticisms about poor solid waste management, business interests and governments worldwide have been trying to find ways to make the material — a durable, lightweight, and cheaply produced option widely used as disposable food containers — more environmentally friendly. Substitute material ranging from milk p ... Read More

PHOTO: Faking death?

Thursday, February 16, 2017    

Photo: Kenyon Hemans

It was not clear if this reptile, spotted yesterday afloat on its back in a swamp near the St Thomas main road, which leads into Hector’s River, Portland, was dead or just faking it. (Photo: Kenyon Hemans) Read More

Rescuers form human chain to save whales

Wednesday, February 15, 2017    

Hundreds of pilot whales lay stranded at Farewell Spit near Nelson, New Zealand, Friday, February 10, after beaching themselves. (Photo: AFP/Tim Cuff)

GOLDEN BAY, New Zealand (AFP) — It was a scene of both tragedy and triumph in New Zealand Saturday as rescuers defied a shark threat and formed a human chain in a bay in a bid to keep another 200 whales from becoming stranded a day after hundreds died in a mass beaching. About 150 people waded out up to their necks at Farewell Spit in the north-west of the South Island to form the human wall as they also guided some 100 survivors from Friday’s beaching away from the shore. Environm ... Read More

Wisynco to introduce biodegradable foam product today

Wednesday, February 15, 2017    

William Mahfood chairman of the Wisynco Group (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Local manufacturers of the Sweet line of synthetic packaging products, Wisynco Limited, is today expected to announce a major shift in its operations — a move away from polystyrene-only food containers to a biodegradable alternative it has branded eco-foam. The new product, the company said, should break down into non-toxic derivatives of the input within nine months to five years. CEO William Mahfood told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that eco-foam is produced by putting a chemical ad ... Read More

Montego Bay Marine Park, Sandals Foundation plant mangroves for World Wetlands Day

Wednesday, February 08, 2017    

Sandals Montego Bay’s valued guest Stan Hufford and Sandals Foundation ambassadors Suzanne Stephenson and Askia Moody help to make a difference by replanting mangrove saplings in the Whitehouse fishing village on Saturday, February 4..

MONTEGO BAY, St James — In recognition of World Wetlands Day last Thursday, February 2, Sandals Foundatioon launched an awareness campaign across the Caribbean to educate students and community members on the importance of preserving wetlands. Sandals Foundation team members in the islands of Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Jamaica, and the Turks & Caicos organised school field trips to give students a hands-on opportunity to observe the wetlands. They also hosted co ... Read More

Forestry Department urges protection

Wednesday, February 08, 2017    

The Black River Upper Morass, a former rice production area in the 1950s and 60s, is an example of swamp forest in Jamaica. (Photo: Caribbean Birding Trail) .

The Forestry Department has given a frightening report on the state of the island’s swamps — low-lying forested areas that are flooded either seasonally or permanently with freshwater — announcing last week that only 4.5 per cent of them remain in tact. “Data from the latest Land Use Assessment Survey, which was conducted by the agency, shows that over the last 15 years Jamaica has lost 2,124.1 hectares of swamp forest, leaving this forest type at only 122.9 hectares, wh ... Read More

4 irrefutable truths about climate change science

Wednesday, February 01, 2017    

Donald Trump

During the recent confirmation hearings of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees, a familiar pattern has emerged. Many of them have acknowledged that climate change is happening, but each has sowed doubt by either understating the connection between human activity and climate change or by suggesting that there’s too much uncertainty to act. The overall effect of these statements is to confuse or stall progress. The reality is that we know plenty about the role of people as primary driv ... Read More

EFJ awards $85 million for climate change projects

Wednesday, February 01, 2017    

Eighteen civil society organisations on Monday received a combined total of $85 million to implement climate change adaptation and resilience-building projects in communities across the island. The grant funds were provided under the Special Climate Change Adaptation Fund (SCCAF), which is supported by the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanisms project of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience. They are administered by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ). The beneficiary ... Read More

165 people trained as environmental wardens

Friday, January 27, 2017    

Systems Operation and Environment Manager at Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Dr Milton Clarke, highlights initiatives being undertaken by the entity as part of its solid waste management project at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’. Photo: JIS

SOME 165 people from 30 underserved communities across the island have been trained as environmental wardens under the solid waste management initiative being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF). The environmental wardens have been gazetted under the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Act and are responsible for enforcing environmental laws across the country, but particularly in their communities. Speaking with JIS News, systems operation and environment m ... Read More



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