Fourth from left to right – Mr. Dilukshan Jayasekara, Brand Manager, Eco Spindles (Pvt) Ltd.; Mr. Lakshan Madurasinghe, Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. Mr. Dulal Waas, Manager, Negombo fishery harbour; Mr. Hemantha Balasuriya, Assistant Manager, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. ; Mr. Dileepa Silva, Executive, Eco Spindles (Pvt) Ltd. and other representatives from the Negombo Fishery Harbour standing in front of the ‘Give back Life’ Plastic PET bottle collection hut
Deepening its drive to accelerate recovery of PET plastics in Sri Lanka, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd.’s (CCBSL) significant partnership with The Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation is making great strides. CCBSL established 15 large scale 5000 Kg huts for the collection of plastic PET bottles in Dikkowita, Negombo, Galle, Mirissa, Cot bay, Nilwella, Suduwella, Kirinda, Kalpitiya, Chilaw, Hambanthota, Thalawila harbours and Tangalle and Kudawella ports with the objective of providing a much-needed disposal mechanism for the large number of PET bottles that are taken on a daily basis by the fishing community to sea. The PET volume collected to date by the Harbour huts project is close to 21,500 Kg in less than a year, which amounts to approximately 752,500 PET bottles. This joint effort has made a notable contribution to CCBSL’s overarching signature waste management programme, ‘Give Back Life’, to increase the volume of PET bottle collection and recycling in the island through its trusted recycling partner - Eco-Spindles Private Limited, a subsidiary of BPPL holdings.
Adding further, J.P Mudalige - General Manager, Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation said, “As the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation, we are delighted to enter into this partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. and Eco Spindles to resolve this crisis that was polluting our oceans and affecting our precious marine resources. This issue was also negatively affecting the livelihoods of our fisher community and the fishing industry, as more plastics in the ocean would mean less quality fish in the sea. Thanks to this initiative, we can conserve our most precious ocean resource in our island and our fishing industry that depends on it.”
Elaborating on the benefits of the partnership, Dr. Anush Amarasinghe - Managing Director, BPPL Holdings added, “BPPL Holdings is grateful to Coca-Cola’s efforts as a responsible producer to take the ‘Give Back Life’ initiative to our harbours, which can now collect a large amount of PET bottles that otherwise would have ended up in the ocean. This initiative will help us increase our recovery and recycling rates and the sale and export of our brushes, filaments and polyester yarn and thereby support the national economy.”
This project reflects CCBSL’s PET recovery efforts to significantly reduce environment pollution caused by PET bottles being inappropriately disposed at sea by the fishing communities, who spend a long period of time in the waters and previously had no incentive or mechanism for safe disposal of PET bottles on return to shore. This partnership not only contributes to curbing ocean pollution, but also increases PET collection and recycling volumes by a large amount because of the quantity of PET bottles used on a daily basis by the fishing community, and the substantial holding capacity (5000kg) of the hut. The recovered PET bottles will be recycled and transformed into Value-Added Products such as bristles for cleaning brushes, brooms or recycled polyester yarn for clothing, shoes, etc. This will in turn amount to expanding livelihood opportunities for local communities, increasing export earnings and creating a circular economy.
Commenting on the partnership, Lakshan Madurasinghe – Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, CCBSL said, “We are excited about this new partnership with the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation and our recycling partner Eco Spindles, as it provides the opportunity to expand the recovery volume of PET plastic bottles and thereby ‘Give Back Life’ to these bottes. We are committed to finding improved solutions to recover and recycle PET bottles and this is one of the many initiatives we are implementing across the island.”
Through such multi-stakeholder programmes, the ‘Give Back Life’ campaign aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle it sells in Sri Lanka in line with its global sustainability agenda of a ‘World Without Waste’ by 2030.