Sri Lanka's preferred bottled water brand, Aquafresh – a product of Access Natural Waters, announced a benchmark partnership with Eco-spindles, a leading local monofilament producer, in a concerted effort to reduce, recycle and reuse the plastic waste in Sri Lanka. Through its ambitious new commitment Access Natural Waters aims to reduce the amount of harmful plastic waste released into the environment and help kick-start a circular economy by helping collect and repurpose polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics into consumer durables.
Through the Aquafresh Corporate Sustainable Responsibility Program (ACSR), Aquafresh has engineered a robust framework to enable collection of recyclable PET plastic from consumers. Customers can drop off their plastic at the strategically located collection points set up by both Eco-spindles and Aquafresh, or hand it over to Aquafresh's enthusiastic delivery team during their regular sales rounds in Colombo and its outskirts.
This bulk is then transported to the state-of-the-art Eco-spindles processing facilities at Maugama and the Horana BOI Zone, where plastics are cleaned, disinfected, and processed into PET flakes, monofilaments and polyester yarn for the production of consumer durables such as cleaning tools and brushes as well as fabrics.
Commenting on their latest initiative, Access Natural Waters COO, Shanil Perera said: "Aquafresh is deeply committed towards ensuring that plastics are disposed of in a responsible manner. Through this timely partnership with Eco-Spindles we hope to speed up Sri Lanka’s transition towards a restorive and regenerative circular economy, so that we are able to enhance the value of plastic ensuring that we re-use as much as possible.
“Our 100% pure, unchlorinated water is sourced directly from a natural spring, purified in a process that mimics nature and bottled in an environment-friendly factory at the same location. It is therefore imperative that we continue to protect, sustain and enhance these eco-systems. Our ultimate goal is to build an economic system where plastic packaging never becomes hazardous waste.”
The venture between Aquafresh and Eco-spindles comes at a critical time when it was recently reported by the Sri Lankan Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) that a staggering 32 million kilogrammes of litter are estimated to have been accumulated in the coastal regions of the country in a year. Of the massive amount of plastics that gets pushed to the ocean, 70% sink to the bottom while the rest float midsea, creating plastic islands. These plastic islands cut off air circulation from the atmosphere to the ocean and block the adequate absorption of atmospheric oxygen, upsetting the critical photosynthetic balance in an eco-system. Aquatic creatures too are impacted a great deal when they unknowingly ingest these plastics that will over time start to release chemicals slowly killing them.
A true trendsetter in the bottled water industry, Aquafresh has been persistent in fulfilling its mission to provide sustainable, innovative solutions from nature, for a healthier life. Their quest for the purest drinking water led them to a rich aquifer deep in the geologically unique rainforest of Labugamkanda. It is from here, a natural spring 200 feet below the surface, that Aquafresh sources water untouched by pollutants. It then goes through a state-of-the-art purification process that mimics the biological processes of aeration, slow sand filtering, micron filtering, and UV treatment which preserves the natural mineral balance at the aquifer.
Aquafresh's innovative assortment of bottled water includes reusable, five-gallon Polycarbonate water bottles and a range of PET bottles from 200 ml to 5l. Their more distinctive offerings include Alkafresh, Alkaline water with a pH of 9+, catering to athletes and the fitness conscious who benefit from the water's unique health properties such as fast hydration and reduction of body acidity levels. This is in addition to Aquafresh's line of fruit flavoured waters which contains zero amounts of sugar, calories and carbonate – to appeal to consumers who dislike consuming plain water.
Eco-Spindles, formerly known as Beira Enviro Solutions, is a leading manufacturer of quality monofilaments and polyester yarn in the world. Driven by a strong vision of enforcing and maintaining environmental standards, the company utilizes energy-efficient technologies in its three state-of-the-art factories in Maugama and the Horana BOI Zone. The Eco Spindles synthetic yarn production facility, where yarn is produced exclusively from recycled PET flakes, is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka. It is also one of two plants in the world with the capability to create yarn directly from flakes, circumventing the polymerization process seen at other plants ; where flakes are first converted to chips and then to yarn.