August, 16, 2022
Eco Spindles (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka’s largest plastics recycler, recently concluded its 8th annual Kataragama Waste Management Project by collecting 43,590 PET (polyethylene terephthalate) waste plastic bottles discarded at the scared pilgrim sites of Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Dewalaya, Sella Kataragama Temple, Wedihiti Kanda and the surrounding areas.
Kataragama is situated within an environmentally vital ecosystem in the country, which includes the Menik River, Yala National Park, and Lunugamvehera National Park. It is also home to sacred temples, well known to Sri Lankan and Indian pilgrims. Over a million people descend on Kataragama during the festival season, leaving behind a trail of plastic waste. Due to the inappropriate disposal of this plastic, there has been an increase in clogged waterways and animal habitat concerns over the years.
The waste management project commenced on the 29th of July and successfully concluded on the 12th of August, and engaged 60 volunteers from the ‘Soba Parisara Thurunu Samjaya,’ a local youth club in the area, 20 volunteers from Eco Spindles and its project partners - the Kataragama Pradesiya Sabawa, and the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Dewalaya.
Since starting the Kataragama Waste Management Project in 2014, Eco Spindles has collected 555,990 PET plastic bottles, equivalent to 18,533 kilos to date. The project aims to educate Sri Lankans about responsible recycling, particularly those who visit Kataragama during the festival. Further, Eco Spindles operates a network of collectors in Kataragama, who play an integral part in collecting the plastic that is discarded. The company continues to support these entrepreneurs, who have based their livelihoods and businesses on collecting plastics by buying the accumulated plastic waste.
“Despite challenges posed due to the pandemic as well as the economic and political crisis in the country, we cannot forget the importance of safeguarding our environment, which is why initiatives like the Kataragama Waste Management Project are paramount. As a company that recycles over 360,000 plastic bottles daily, we are proud to contribute to a greener Sri Lanka. We will continue to address the impact of improper and irresponsible disposal of plastic waste and convert it into value-added products such as polyester yarn and monofilaments,” commented Dr. Anush Amarasinghe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of BPPL Holdings PLC.
Eco Spindles who owns one of only two plants in the world capable of creating polyester yarn directly from recycled PET plastic flakes and is a subsidiary of BPPL Holdings PLC, has continued to play its part as a responsible organisation by engaging and initiating multiple waste management/ clean-up projects, including the Sri Pada, Munneswaram, and Thalawila Waste Management Projects.
Rivers clogged by waste plastic being cleaned
Collected waste plastic being weighed
Image Caption : Volunteers who participated in the Eco Spindles Kataragama Waste Management Project 2022