The National Coastal and Marine Resources Conservation Week was recently commemorated and the opening ceremony was launched at Crow Island Beach Park, Mattakkuliya.
It was the launch of 14 district programmes with 72 locations along the coastal districts of Sri Lanka in efforts to clean-up and preserve our beautiful island’s coastline. A tremendous hands-on initiative which witnessed the participation of government agencies led by the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment) NGOs, school children and the coastal community.
As part of its global commitment to prevent waste over the life cycle of its packaging, Coca-Cola’s bottled water, fruit juices and carbonated soft drinks are packaged in 100 percent recyclable PET plastic bottles. While supporting and encouraging responsible waste handling practices it also realizes that some of its packaging finds its way into the natural environment. To help address this problem, as it seeks a more comprehensive solution, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd as part of its extended producer responsibility, recently supported and sponsored the International Coastal Clean-up and joined hands to ‘Give Back Life’ to collect marine debris along the beaches.
Throughout the National Marine Resources Week, all PET bottles collected by the volunteers would be collected and recycled through its partnership with Beira Enviro Solutions Ltd (part of BPPL Holdings). The PET will then be upcycled into janitorial products for household and commercial use, thus utilising the maximum value of PET.
Associates and members of the Country Leadership Team from Coca-Cola joined hands alongside the participating government agencies, NGOs, schoolchildren and coastal community members, on the day of the International Coastal Clean-Up to collect the washed-up PET bottles in their efforts to maintain and preserve our beautiful island coastline. The International Coastal Clean-up drives awareness of conservation and protection of the marine environment and has been an important annual event to propagate this message to wider Sri Lanka. Each of the coastal district programmes consisted of an inaugural session, coastal clean-up and survey on marine debris collected at the sites respectively. Marine Environmental Protection Authority Chairman Rear Admiral (Retd) Rohana Perera said: “It was a proud occasion that we partnered with Coca-Cola on protecting and conserving a national priority such as our coastal and marine resources. It was a vital point of action to work hand-in-hand with Coca-Cola on the ground to remove waste which has littered our coastal environments through 14 coastal district programmes. Our coastal and marine resources is a national priority not only for the holistic environmental wellbeing of our coastal and marine ecosystems but due to Sri Lanka’s dependence on economic development in terms of tourism and fisheries. The International Coastal Clean-Up is commemorated globally and in Sri Lanka we further highlight the significance through the extended, annual National Coastal and Marine Resources Week.” Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd Managing Director Mayank Arora said: “We are working to do our part to prevent waste over the life cycle of our packaging. It is imperative to be hands-on in executing the best practice of responsibly disposing waste and ensuring PET bottles are recycled, considering they are 100 percent recyclable. In this manner, we can drive Sri Lanka towards a circular economy but we can only do this together. We are thankful to all the participating organisations and their volunteers who dedicated their time to drive this important message. Giving back life to 1,200kilograms (1.2MT) of PET bottles, approximately 35,000 PET bottles will be successfully utilised and would have translated to the reduction in usage of one barrel of crude oil, nine KWH electric energy, 0.24m3 land filling and the lowering of CO2 emissions by 3.3 fraction compared to virgin plastic.”