Establishing New Methods for a New World
November 12th, 2021
INTERVIEW: Jonathan Barcant – Co-Founder and Managing Director, IAMovement.
The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has been able to maintain its duties throughout the lockdowns, through a mixture of essential workers and virtual working. As such, it has been able to maintain many services including the recycling programme iCARE.
Behavioural change towards more environmentally friendly practice is also at the forefront of the efforts of another Government agency Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL). The company is pursuing legislative action for a Beverage Containers bill, to curb the massive plastic bottle pollution problem. CEO Kevin Thompson sees both the resultant change towards greater recycling as well as the economic benefit, “At SWMCOL, we are doing work on developing position papers on different waste streams.
All waste streams create opportunities to have less waste in the landfill. The legislation provides that framework for the other persons who may not be so voluntarily minded or environmentally sensitive about the damage that is being done to the environment. And (with funds gained from recycling plastics for sale) you give them another reason to participate.” SWMCOL saw a reduction in its plastic recycling process in the past year, with COVID-19 forcing two of its three sites to close, but it still processed 335 tonnes of plastic for export and resale.
There is also a big push for environmentally friendly practice towards creating 21st-century revenue streams from the private sector, spearheaded by NGOs such as IAMovement. Nature-loving brothers Jonathan and Daniel Barcant created the group of young, environmentally conscious Trinbagonians in 2014 to raise awareness but it has now developed into a platform for climate mitigation and reduction of costs to power the nation. IAMovement states that if Trinidad and Tobago were to wholeheartedly embrace getting its own energy from renewable sources, the benefits would resonate throughout various trickle-down factors. Jonathan Barcant says “The country is spending money on energy which could be saved and invested in other industries – especially in the midst of a move toward diversifying the economy of Trinidad and Tobago. Every dollar of natural gas or barrel of oil not consumed locally could benefit the country by selling it overseas or sending it to the refinery in Point Lisas to generate more revenue and create jobs through petrochemical products. It is win-win.”
With almost 50 nationwide Climate Talk events and utilising the trend towards online learning through the establishment of their REThinking Energy portal, IAMovement is hoping to disrupt the status quo and create meaningful change in both the way the country treats its bountiful environment and utilising it towards economic benefit.
Article by: Sheldon Waithe