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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeCommentaryOpen forumThe V.I. Can Use Paper and Cardboard to Improve Things

The V.I. Can Use Paper and Cardboard to Improve Things

Dear Source:
There are federal monies to finance capital programs geared toward recycling:
[Recycling has not actually taken place until we buy or use products made from recycled materials. For recycling to be economically viable and recycling schemes to be successful, there must be markets into which collectors of waste can sell their materials. Buying recycled creates a demand for the collected material, aiding the development of the material’s reprocessing infrastructure and therefore increasing opportunities for recycling. As well as helping the environment, buying recycled also helps to generate investment in new industries and creates new jobs.]
A valuable recyclable material we have here would be cardboard and paper, this is not a novel idea, and it has been presented in the past, but not acted on. During a past Agricultural Fair ’13, the youth of the Christiansted Boy’s and Girl’s Club were proposing this very same solution to addressing recycling and the impact it would have on the quality of living here on St. Croix. Those students expressed a willingness to be a conduit to the collecting of paper waste to be recycled, I guess much like how the aluminum cans had been done and which should be continued.
The fact that everything is shipped into the islands packaged in paper and cardboard, an obvious solution for my needs would be to support the creation of a recycling plant that will not only address our solid waste management issues, but would also create entrepreneurship opportunities and jobs.
The demand for the recycled paper would come from the creating and supplying a local publishing company printing books written by authors here and abroad. Right now cardboard is being shipped off island, we can recycle paper waste here and import paper waste to recycle to meet projected growth and demand. Everyone benefits the businesses who buy and dispose of paper products, the government which is responsible for the landfill, the revenue from taxes and fees collection, for the community the jobs created and the environment for its protection.
Since we advertise the 7 Flags’ history and our diversified culture we should be developing products showcasing to the world each of these particulars. There are hundreds of stories and folklore that have much more potential than what has been developed.
Several authors that have marketable manuscripts, but not the money to pay for the high cost for publishing outside of the territory, so their work sits. Another cost factor is the reality of having books shipped to and from here, the cost is as if you are shipping a Tree. To send books priority mail it cost as much to print the books. If the book weight is more than a pound, you have to fill-out custom forms for each single book sent. The handling and shipping a large number of books is very expensive, another product, jigsaw puzzles made from chipboard, that requires importing paper material with the shipping and handling costing more than the purchased cost of the chipboard.
With a paper recycling plant and publishing house here on St. Croix, this would be a great opportunity to use Auntie Janice as an icon creating an Auntie Janice Book Club, which would sponsor and feature locally written stories, along with creating a demand for other paper paraphernalia like: work books, posters, coloring books, puzzles, calendars, maps, wrapping paper, gift bags, kites etc., all highlighting the Virgin Islands’ history and culture.
In addition, to address the problem of illiteracy, begin publishing story / coloring books written by students reflecting and preserving the culture and customs here, would benefit students, while developing marketable products for everyone. These stories developed for publication and sale by students can inspire and encourage literacy and entrepreneurship.
From my experiences as an educator, to inspire and to encourage reading, I feel that the best way to address the literacy issues with our children today, especially with all of their distractions, is through illustration. Students writing, illustrating and reading theirs and other students’ writings may encourage and inspire others to begin reading, much like how when they go home with a cold infecting everyone in the house.
As an entrepreneur here in this community, I would endorse, support and work toward accomplishing this proposal to establish a paper recycling plant, along with creating a publishing house that would contribute toward improving economic and social needs here in the Virgin Islands, especially here on St. Croix.
Research has shown that the one area that most tourist, consumers, parents and grandparents buy and invest in are entertaining and learning products for their children.
Today’s drive for paperless information via the internet, cable, phone, etc… is an attempt to destroy the significance of having access to books. If books are not available very few will even bother to seek out information are ripe for indoctrination.
Ivan Butcher II, St. Croix

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