Becoming a paperless society in Trinidad and Tobago - SWMCOL answered some questions I had

The idea behind a paperless Trinidad (for me as a citizen and tech blogger) is that paper transactions be replaced with electronic transactions, receipts and documents. For example if I purchase from a supermarket, the receipt can be sent to my smartphone. Other examples are etextbooks and epapers. Google "paperless society" to see articles on this and the benefits of this.

These are the questions I have

How much paper waste is generated annually in Trinidad and Tobago?

A waste characterisation study (CBCL Waste Characterization Study, 2010) conducted in 2010 reported that approximately 700,000 tonnes of solid waste were recorded reaching the landfill sites in Trinidad during the same year. Tobago recorded approximately 17,228 tonnes deposited at the Studley Park landfill site. The data on Trinidad shows that organics, plastics, paper and glass dominate the waste type distribution of the samples analysed. 84% of the items were considered as recyclable and could be diverted from the landfill. Paper and Paperboard and plastics represent approximately 52% of the waste disposed at the Studley Park disposal site. Another 25% is represented by organic wastes.

Based on the aforementioned study, in Trinidad, paper constituted for approximately 18.77% of the waste that reached the landfill.

In Tobago, an average of 29.9% of the wastes reaching the landfill was paper.

Please see the link below:

What does a paperless Trinidad mean to SWMCOL?

Minimizing waste is a key step to reducing our Carbon Footprint and any effort to achieve this, whether by going paperless, refusing single-use plastics, switching to reusable products, and any other environmentally conscious lifestyle change is endorsed by SWMCOL.

It may be impossible to go completely paperless, but we can conserve resources by reducing unnecessary usage and employ the use of recycled paper, or paper made from other resources.

SWMCOL’s mandate focuses on waste management in that our attention is on materials at the “end of life” stage. As such, an extensive discussion on going paperless is best addressed with the sources of paper waste and the manufacturing industry.

What has SWMCOL done to reduce paper usage and paper waste in Trinidad and Tobago?

We conduct Public Education Outreach programmes at primary, secondary, tertiary schools across the twin-island.

We have introduced recycling programmes which includes paper collection with Government and State entities, private sector and municipal corporations, kindly refer to the links below:   

SWMCOL has been involved in paper recovery since 1991 and has partnered with ACE Recycling, now known as Mega Recycling Ltd.

Any plans to promote a paperless society?

We support any positive paradigm shift and waste management effort to reduce, reuse, recycle or divert waste items. Company and individuals that are taking steps toward a paperless society have our support as this is in the best interest to the environment.

What benefits do you see from a paperless society?

There are numerous benefits to having a paperless society – reducing our carbon footprint and decreasing the amount of waste going to the landfills being a few.

Is this something that the SWMCOL would have to collaborate with the Ministry of Digital Transformation or EMA?

As your partner in defence of the environment we are open to all collaborations that would benefit the environment.

It is clear that our Government’s intention is to keep the environment at the centre of all transactions and this aids in achieving Vision 2030.

Anything else you would like to add?

We would like to reiterate that SWMCOL is a waste management company, and many changes would have to be incorporated from the initial stages such as manufacturing in order for a paperless society to be successfully achieved.

We commend you for your interest in the topic at hand and encourage you to continue your journey with us in achieving sustainability.

Please follow us on social media and visit our website for more information and updates on our events and activities.


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