Sri Lanka is a wonderful country surrounded by the Indian Ocean, with a 1,620-kilometer coastline that supports millions of people through tourism, fishing, and a variety of other industries. At the same time, there is a high level of pressure on coastal resources due to improper waste disposal by urban dwellers and, in particular, local tourists. As a result, the bulk of Sri Lanka’s beaches are constantly contaminated, putting the country’s natural beauty and tourism sector at risk. In this situation, plastic has been identified as one of the most significant coastal contaminants.
That being the case Zero Plastic is teaming up to clean up the polluted shorelines of the country to mark the Environment Day. As a clear endorsement of the collaboration and to deliver a strong voice to the nation, STAR Garments PVT LTD, came forward to be the official partner of Zero Plastic in this national initiative to ensure the sustainability of the Negombo shoreline and surrounding communities.
This series aims to raise awareness in the general public (especially the surrounding communities) about marine plastic pollution and its impact, and to reduce plastic pollution while maintaining the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka’s coastline. The series will be carried out in two parallel wide phases.
Phase 1 : Awareness of coastal communities
Phase 2 : Shoreline cleaning and introducing a revenue system through plastic recycling
The 100 member volunteer team of Zero Plastic will be divided into two sub-groups. One group will meet with the surrounding communities, such as the home business community, tourists, visitors, and surrounding villages and discuss the repercussions of proper and poor plastic waste management. (An area of 20,000㎡ from the Negombo shoreline to the mainland will be covered through the awareness session) Moreover, plastic collection informative bins will also be placed in the shorelines with informative billboards in order to display the basics that should be followed by the general public to maintain the area as a plastic free zone. Also the Zero Plastic group picks enthusiastic individuals or families based on their knowledge of the environment and the ownership of these placed plastic collection bins are transferred to selected individuals / families.
Meanwhile, the other subgroup will collect all of the plastic trash and execute the cleaning session. (200m length area of the Negombo shoreline) The debris is routed through the proper recycling processes and the collected plastics will be converted into yarn by our recycling partner. Furthermore, the Zero Plastic team maintains regular contacts with the person in charge or the family of the bins, gathers up-to-date information on relevant beach conditions, and offers solutions to any issues that may arise. Moreover the team visits the premises continuously once a month and will closely monitor the adaptability and the impact and will take necessary actions where needed. Also to ensure the long-term run and enhance the environmental contribution of the bin owned communities, those parties are linked to the recycling party, which establishes a direct revenue system (paying for collected plastic concept) through these plastic waste bins. This process ensures a sustainability improvement in their quality of life while maintaining the beauty of the Sri Lankan sea screen.
The long run of the series will ensure a responsible plastic disposal method and a sustainable direct revenue stream for low-income families while taking care of these scenic beaches of the country.
Zero Plastic and STAR are excited on the way forward towards creating a behavioral change in the general public by teaming up to clean up the shorelines towards nature sustainability!