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CAPRI launched its study on an economic assessment of a Deposit Refund System (DRS) - a solution for PET bottles in Jamaica, at a public forum on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at the Terra Nova Hotel. Mr. Edson Carr - Projects and Planning Manager, NSWMA; Mr. Francois Chalifour - Director of Marketing, Wisynco; and Mr. Rohan Brown - Managing Director, Jamaica Recycles joined Dr. Suzanne Shaw - Director of Sustainability, CAPRI on the panel for a discussion on the study's findings. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Diana Thorburn, Director of Research at CAPRI.
Shaw indicated that from the analysis it is evident that the economic benefits of a DRS largely outweigh the costs and should therefore be implemented as a means to manage PET bottle waste. She further indicated that different DRS configurations do, however, entail different costs and a cost-effective DRS configuration should be adopted for its implementation to be of net benefit to the economy. “A retailer-based model, with collections done at major retailers across the country, is more cost effective than a depot model – indeed the depot model’s costs outweigh its benefits,” Shaw explained.
The presentation concluded with Dr. Shaw sharing CAPRI’s proposal for a Deposit Refund System for PET bottles in Jamaica. The most cost-effective DRS configuration is one using retailers as collection points, and one which is based on automated returns using reverse vending machines. Here, any fixed and operation costs that would be borne by retailers when participating in the DRS would be covered through revenues generated by the DRS, as the retailer is not expected to cover these costs itself.