Story | 26 Oct, 2020

PWFI advancing its work in the Caribbean

Asia Pacific Waste Consultants (APWC), engaged by IUCN within the Plastic Waste-Free Islands (PWFI) project to create a flow analysis of plastics, has hired local teams in Grenada and Saint Lucia to gather in country and field-based auditing data on their behalf.

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The local teams were  trained virtually over several online sessions which included learning the waste characterization methodology.

Photo: Richard Beadle

Grenada & Saint Lucia, October, 2020 (IUCN). The local teams were  trained virtually over several online sessions which included learning the waste characterization methodology, understanding what was being asked in interviews, safety requirements, and how to visually assess the landfill and stockpiles. APWC country coordinators for both countries, Mr. Richard Beadle for Grenada and Ms. Laurah John, founder and CEO of Jua Kali LTD in Saint Lucia, are responsible to conduct the waste management audits and waste characterization in the solid waste management, fisheries and tourism sectors.

The online training sessions started in the last week of July and ran through the first week of August; the fieldwork began in both countries in mid-August. So far, household collection of samples, sorting interviews and landfills visual audits have been done in both countries, including the island of Carriacou (Grenada). Commercial premises audits have been finished in Saint Lucia.

However, there is still work to be done in both countries such as auditing waste from fisherfolk and yachts, and interviews to recyclers and producers to understand how much plastic waste is being collected to be processed. In addition, the tourism sector must be assessed by interviewing hotels and resorts to understand the waste production, plastic consumption and to understand how much it has changed from 2019. Mindful of country health restrictions due to COVID-19, the local teams won´t collect any waste samples from hotels as tourists are in quarantine in these facilities.

Thanks to the work undertaken by the local teams, IUCN and APWC have been able to make a significant progress in Saint Lucia and move forward in Grenada. Field level data will be complemented by national data sets and other relevant sources to perform a material flow analysis of plastic by category, resulting in the identification of total amount of plastic stock, plastic waste generated and leakage. This will allow the identification of target solutions to reduce them.

The PWFI team would like to give a special thanks to the Government Focal Points, for their continued support, and stakeholders who have collaborated in this important study and have made this possible.

PWFI is a global initiative, funded by Norad and implemented by IUCN, that seeks to address plastic waste generation and leakage in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Given the complex and diverse pathways plastic waste takes before it leaks into the environment, the project has selected three sectors: tourism, fisheries and waste management, where social, ecological and economic impacts are most likely to be seen.