Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2014 Contents B17
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Central Bank of
Trinidad & Tobago
In just five weeks, eight primary
schools in the Caroni Education Dis-
trict collected more than 180,000
plastic bottles as Methanex Trinidad
Ltd took its signature Eco-Heroes ini-
tiative in a new direction in 2014,
engaging schools in a "plasti-thon"---
the collection of recyclable plastic
bottles---in various communities in
The project delivers two-pronged
benefits to the schools. In the first
instance, pupils, teachers, parents and
communities are educated on the
harmful impact of indiscriminate dis-
posal of plastic waste. Secondly,
Methanex has pledged $1 for every bot-
tle collected up to a maximum of
$18,000 for each school, with the funds
going toward establishment or upgrade
of library facilities, a release from
On November 1, some 70 pupils from
Milton Presbyterian Primary School
and Couva Anglican Primary School,
accompanied by teachers and parents,
walked the streets of Roystonia Gar-
dens, Couva, collecting bottles from
the roadside and from homeowners.
After just over an hour, a total of 2,207
bottles were salvaged by the eager
During the month of October, six
other primary schools---Brasso Venado
Government, Balmain Presbyterian,
Munroe Road Hindu, Edinburgh Gov-
ernment, Gran Couva RC and Char-
lieville ASJA---made their collection
rounds in Chaguanas and Charlieville.
"This collection of plastic bottles is
an excellent initiative, not only for the
pupils and the schools, but also for the
communities in which we are located.
We all learn about the harmful effects
on the environment through bad habits
of disposing plastic waste. The added
benefit is that our schools get the
opportunity to upgrade our library
facilities to the tune of $18,000," said
Berylin Goberdhan, Principal of Milton
Presbyterian, as she accompanied her
pupils on the collection drive.
For Ricardo de Silva, standard four
pupil of Couva AC, the plasti-thon
was both a fun and learning exercise.
"We are learning how to protect our
environment in a very simple way. You
shouldn t throw your garbage in drains
or on the roadside. If all of us behave
this way, our communities will be
cleaner. I feel real good collecting these
bottles since our school is next door
to Roystonia," said young de Silva.
Piloted as a walkathon in 2009, the
Methanex Eco-Heroes initiative part-
nered with 22 primary schools, raising
$500,000 between 2009 and 2012.
These funds were used for the
improvement of the environment of
each school and featured projects like
classroom libraries, play parks, outdoor
classrooms and walkway canopies.
Charles Percy, managing director,
Methanex Trinidad Ltd, explained the
re-defined focus for the second edition
of the Eco-Heroes initiative.
"The adjustment to the programme
is meant to deliver more tangible and
far-reaching benefits to the environ-
ment by educating persons involved
of the harmful impact to the natural
environment and human health arising
out of the improper disposal of plastic
waste. Through this project, there is
more direct and personal involvement
of the students, teachers, parents and
the communities themselves, in actively
protecting their environment," Percy
Stirred by the positive response of
the participating schools to the project
and the sheer enthusiasm demonstrat-
ed by the pupils, Percy said that
Methanex is currently exploring part-
nerships with several agencies to sustain
the proper disposal of plastic bottles.
As a Responsible Care company,
Methanex in Trinidad has positioned
Eco-Heroes as its signature project,
with its employees volunteering their
time and expertise working alongside
the schools in a gesture of "giving
back" to the communities.
The Methanex Eco-Heroes "plasti-
thon" involved the collection of plastic
bottles at schools, encouraging parents
and residents to donate their recyclable
plastics and the collection of bottles
during community walks at selected
The collected bottles---polyethylene
terephthalate (PET), high-density poly-
ethylene (HDPE) and low-density poly-
ethylene (LDPE) will be recycled. Some
schools went way beyond their col-
lection target, bringing in ore than
35,000 bottles in some cases.
Planning of the library projects has
begun and the execution is expected
to be completed within 12 months.
Methanex and central
schools in 'plasti-thon'
Excited pupils during the plastic recycling education session.
take to the
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