BPPL Holdings PLC and subsidiary Eco Spindles, Sri Lanka’s largest plastic recycler, called for
the responsible disposal of plastic waste across the island this World Environment Day. This
year’s theme, “Ecosystem Restoration” is focused on implementing a solution to a depleting
ecosystem, an urgent issue faced in Sri Lanka, and across the globe.
The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) noted that the Western Province alone generates
around 7,500 metric tons of solid waste every day, of which only 3,500 metric tons are collected.
Of this, close to 15% becomes compost, 10% is recycled and 75% is thrown into open dumps.
“We recycle over 360,000 plastic bottles a day. While we are proud of our contribution to a
greener Sri Lanka, the severity of the impact of irresponsible disposal of plastic needs to be
addressed. People worldwide are asked to act with immediacy to revive the ecosystem that is
being damaged at a startling rate,” commented Group MD, Dr. Anush Amarasinghe.
Aligning with this year’s theme and playing their part as a responsible organization, the BPPL
Group has engaged in multiple waste management initiatives over the past five years, despite
challenges posed by COVID-19. Three of their key highlights are the collection initiatives at Sri
Pada, Kataragama and Thalawila, three sites of religious worship that attract crowds from
across the island. However, this has also resulted in millions of plastic waste being disposed of
irresponsibly during season time annually. The BPPL Group identified this as an issue and
established the Sri Pada, Kataragama and Thalawila Waste Management Programs to collect
and recycle plastic waste that is irresponsibly thrown into the environment.
Sri Pada, located within the Peak wilderness sanctuary, is home to eight percent of the endemic
biodiversity in the country and is also the spring for major rivers in Sri Lanka. In 2019, over two
million people summited Sri Pada. During the 2020/21 pilgrimage season, Eco Spindles and
partners, Link Natural Product Private Ltd., Maskeliya Divisional Council, and the Nallathanniya
Wildlife Department collected over 45,000 waste plastic bottles from Sri Pada.
The next location, Kataragama is situated within an environmentally vital ecosystem in the
country, and is home to national parks and a sacred temple known to pilgrims. Due to the
inappropriate disposal of plastic waste, there has been an increase in clogged waterways and
animal habitat concerns over the years. Through partnerships with Coca-Cola
Beverages Private Ltd., the Kataragama Soba Mithuru Youth Club, Kataragama Divisional
Council, CEA, and Medical Officer of Health Office (MOH), the BPPL Group was able to
collect 30,000 PET plastic bottles in 2020. Additionally, in 2019, through partnerships with
the Puttalam Medical Health Office and Coca Cola Beverages Private Ltd., Eco-Spindles
was able to collect over 111,000 PET plastic bottles from the Thalawila church.
Eco Spindles noted that the quantity of PET waste collected in the country reduced by 30%
during the pandemic due to a decline in tourism. This is an indication of the amount of plastic
waste that is brought by people visiting places across the island. Due to COVID-19, there has been a reduction in PET plastic disposed of as people cannot travel. “The reduction in plastic
waste on roadsides and waterways over the past few months signal to how much waste we
actually dispose. We need to correct our old ways and understand that plastic waste can only
be recycled, if it is disposed of properly. With the help of our partners, we have managed to set
up a large network of PET plastic collection bins in Sri Lanka. Please throw your plastic to these
bins, and we will make sure it is recycled,” requested Dr. Amarasinghe.
The app ‘Waste 2 Value’ available on the Google Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS,
is capable of locating around 300 plastic waste bins around the island, providing ease of access
to anybody looking to dispose their plastic waste the right way, with assurance that what they
dispose will be collected and recycled.
This pandemic has given us an opportunity to learn and implement the proper methods of waste
disposal starting from our homes. Responsible recycling and waste segregation practices can
drive us to bigger national efforts toward waste collection that can help keep Sri Lanka free of
About BPPL Holdings PLC
Founded in 1984, BPPL Holdings PLC through its wholly owned subsidiaries Eco Spindles
(Pvt.) Ltd and Beira Brush (Pvt.) Ltd. exports recycled polyester yarn, monofilaments and
professional and household cleaning tools to international markets in USA, Canada, UK,
Australia and New Zealand with a considerable market share in each region. The group also
produces household cleaning brushes retailed locally, under the brand ‘Tip Top’.