The poster boy for the anti-litter campaign of the mid-80s is back with a vengeance. The old litter-bug of "Chase Charlie away!" fame has been revamped and digitised into Charlie 2.0 for the new generation and has been made public environment enemy number one.Aiding and abetting Charlie or being like Charlie in littering can be expensive now as the fine for littering has been increased by 100 per cent, from $1,000 to a whopping $2,000.
The "Charlies" in business organisations can now also incur a 100 per cent increase in the penalty for littering, from $2,000 to a staggering $4,000.Solid Waste Management Company Ltd (SWMCOL) Public Education Administrator, Gisele Telfer, said it was hoped that the stiff fines would act as a deterrent to littering.
Charlie was unveiled at the Environmental Management Authority's (EMA) launch as part of its Project Tomorrow campaign by initiating the National Beverage Containers Clean-up Project at the Hyatt Regency on October 8.Several full-page ads of Charlie have appeared in the newspapers with the message to citizens to dispose of their trash properly.SWMCOL chairman Nalini Sooklal said, "We listened to the cries of the public to bring back Charlie.
"Many people would remember the campaign back in the 80s, and we thought it was a really opportune time to reintroduce the public to Charlie."What the inter-agency teams hoped was that by using Charlie, we can close that generation gap where parents can reconnect, remember and introduce Charlie to their children in a new and modern way."We did some work on the original images that were very old, digitised him and made Charlie more appealing to younger children."
Sooklal said it was a four-way collaboration between SWMCOL, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the Community Environmental Protection Enhancement Programme (Cepep) and the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA).She said what the clean-up was seeking to do was to remove all the discarded beverage containers that were in the environment, which would then pave the way for the implementation of the Beverage Containers Bill which would be laid in Parliament shortly.
Rambachan: I fullysupport the campaign
Local Government Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan said 145 litter wardens were mandated to work in terms of the Litter Warden Act and be "really aggressive" with litter bugs.Rambachan said he fully supports the campaign, which was brought forward by Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh.He said the passing of the bill will also have a tremendous impact on the initiative to get rid of all the plastic waste strewn across the country.