“We are never too young to change the world”- Colombo Zero Plastic Movement volunteers gathered at Colombo Fort.
“World for a cleaner planet” World cleanup day is a massive civic movement event executed annually in 191+ countries across the world. On the day volunteers and the partners get together and engage in clean-up activities in order to get rid of mismanaged waste from our beaches, forests, and streets. Since 2018 world cleanup day has brought millions of people together for the massive trash collection day and as Sri Lankans, this (2022) was the first time that took part in this great event. Sri Lankan representatives to the event were Country Leader Mr. Nishshanka De Silva and Country Co-Leader Ms. Jacklin Elizabeth Mazumber and the main volunteering organization was Zero Plastic Movement initiated by Mr. Nishshanka De Silva. Zero Plastic is an environmentally friendly volunteer base organization connected with 15+ state and private universities within Sri Lanka. On behalf of world cleanup day, Zero Plastic Movement executed 12 island-wide cleanup projects simultaneously within the country on the 17th of September,2022.
Out of the 12 sites, Colombo Fort and Galle Face was mainly targeted area. The supreme business district of Sri Lanka is Colombo, and it is the Capital city of Sri Lanka. Colombo Fort is the cultural, Financial, and economic hub of the city and home to many important buildings and offices. Meanwhile, Galle Face is a half-kilometer promenade in the heart of Colombo. Galle Face Green is mainly a tourist destination, many domestic and foreign tourists visit the area most often to feel the breeze of waves and enjoy the evening sunset. These areas are densely populated, and the risk of environmental pollution is comparatively high than in other areas.
On the 17th of September, there were 100+ volunteers gathered in front of the Colombo Fort Railway Station. The main organizers were Zero Plastic Movement volunteers represented by the Colombo area universities’ ZP societies. The main partners for the event were Midas and Star Garments and it was glad to see their presence to the event. Star Garments one of the leading apparel industries in Sri Lanka was the official platinum partner for the event and they provided a free cap for all volunteers presented at the Colombo Fort. Meanwhile, Midas safety leading private label supplier of hand protection in Sri Lanka was the Official PPE Partner for the event and provided free gloves for volunteers as their immense support led to successfully concluding the event.
The program commenced at 8.00 am all the volunteers were instructed on the relevant guidelines by the site leaders Mr.Ushan Perera, Ms.Oshadi Perera, Mr.Yomal Benaragama, and Ms.Yasassri Wijesundara. Afterward, all volunteers were grouped into four teams and executed the volunteers to the respective areas: Colombo fort station area, secretariat railway station, port city entrance point area, and Galle Face beach area and collected 519kg of trash within the whole cleanup. Meanwhile, a few of the volunteers were assigned to gather information from the public by filling out a questionnaire. The main aim of the survey was to conduct research to measure the literacy rate of environmental and plastic pollution within the Sri Lankan community. The cleaning session ended around 11.30 am after two and half hours of hard commitment of the volunteers. Finally, all the volunteers were provided with refreshments, and the significant fact that volunteers got king coconut as the beverage to refresh their souls, promotes sustainable products within the youth and acknowledges the importance of using alternatives instead of the usage of plastic bottles. The day was spent well chilling with the volunteers and taking photos, memories and at the end each and every individual felt proud and self-satisfaction as they were able to take part in a good deed to make a better Sri Lanka
NSBM Green University