Entertainer ‘passionate’ about partnership, transforming waste disposal in Ja
Multi-hyphenate Agent Sasco will be taking on a bigger role with the Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ), for which he re-signed as brand ambassador yesterday.
The artiste spent 2021 promoting the company’s objectives of recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics through a bevy of activities, including the Friendship Gap project and the release of the catchy yet educational campaign song and animated visuals.
This time around, Agent Sasco, whose given name is Jeffrey Campbell, will be part of the RPJ’s planning committee, which creates and executes cluster projects.
“One of the success stories that we’ve had so far is the Friendship Gap project where he’s rallied the people in Friendship Gap, St Mary, to try to create a recycling town,” RPJ marketing and public relations manager, Candice Ming, told The Gleaner. “The response that we’ve gotten from that programme has been one, total, and two, phenomenal, in the amount of plastics that we continue to get from that project and the amount of monies that they’ve amassed from that recycling alone. They’ve now moved beyond plastics to electronics and glass bottles and aluminium, so they’re trying to create a holistic recycling area, and that’s all through the efforts of Agent Sasco, and we’re very grateful for that. Throughout the year, we’re going to be replicating that project in other areas of the country with his help.”
Melrose Hill in Manchester and Faith’s Pen in St Ann are among the communities already confirmed. With a year-end goal of recycling 800 million plastic bottles, Ming said they intend to cover the entire country, starting with areas known to them.
In a recent visit to Melrose Hill, the hands-on ambassador engaged community members about the economic benefits of recycling.
“I had a great conversation with [a] couple of the vendors there, and they are very receptive to having their own little programme and raise funds to do whatever,” Sasco said. “I invited them to consider maybe using these funds to put on their Christmas events like customer appreciation … Wherever we have these sort of ready-made captive audiences, if you will, that generate a lot of these plastics, then it makes sense you get their programmes going first. I think that will yield so much more impact than, let’s say, trying to convince 1,000 households.”
He said an update on their strides will be made at an event six months from now.
The partnership is organic as RPJ executive chairman, Dr Damien King, described Sasco as respectable and passionate about his duties. Sasco’s passion is rooted in his desire to resolve environmental issues.
“I’ve felt for a very long time that everywhere don’t need a little rubbish heap,” Sasco told The Gleaner. “In Jamaica, it just feels like we’re too comfortable being around garbage. Man a play domino and garbage heap a dem foot ... Driving on the highway and seeing people toss things out [of] their vehicles like dem a go magically disappear – it’s things like that. Recycling is clearly a part of that bigger issue, and so I’m very passionate about this partnership because of that, but I’m also actively pursuing changing or finding a way that we can target overall waste disposal in Jamaica.”
Having witnessed waste management systems in countries like Italy and, more recently, Barbados, Sasco is confident it can be attained in Jamaica.
“It’s a matter of mindset and, of course, there’s some infrastructure work to be done, but when you have the mindset first, then you think about how the infrastructure will come into that, so, look out for that as well. We’ll be challenging people to really think about the fact that when you throw the garbage in the gullies, it ends up [on] the beach that you same one waan turn up and swim in on holiday. We really need to rethink what we’re doing.”