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Focus on Sri Lanka’s plastic waste management

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By Manjula de Silva, Secretary General and CEO, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Each year, over 640,000 metric tonnes of plastic leak into the Indian Ocean from Sri Lanka (Clean Cities, Blue Ocean, June 2020). The Western Province alone generates around 7500 metric tons of solid waste every day, out of which only 3500 metric tons are collected (Central Environmental Authority, 2018). Of this, close to 15% become compost, 10% is recycled and 75% is thrown into open dumps. While plastics have made essential products more accessible, the impact to the environment needs to be addressed.

As consumerism evolves, the earth continues to suffer. For over half a century, consumers have been placed at the forefront to bear the brunt of the burden they have placed on the Earth. But, are consumers only to blame? Consumers are a key stakeholder in the waste management process but they share this responsibility alongside legislators, civil society, importers of plastic and, producers who use plastic in their manufacturing and packaging processes.

Today’s consumers are even more aware of what they consume and hold these products, services and brands to renewed standards of transparency and accountability. Due to this, the conversation on sustainability among brands has shifted from a mere marketing gimmick, to a legitimate requirement that is demanded by the next generation of consumers, the world over.

The 3 Rs of responsible waste management – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle will remain the holy mantra across the spectrum of sustainability. However, as producers take up accountability, we have to ask the important questions. Are organizations able to switch to plastic alternatives and meet their current demands? How will this affect the product design and its safety for consumption? Elimination and reduction will only take away from the end consumer’s ease of access to the product. The end consumers in this case, are Sri Lankans like you and I.

This is where Extended Producer Responsibility comes into play. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy mechanism through which producers are given the responsibility (either financial and/or physical) for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. EPR is a critical tool in driving linear economies into a circular economy, as they supplement an extended product cycle even after the products initial use. Assigning such responsibility could in principle, provide incentives to prevent waste at the source, promote environmentally friendly product design and support the achievement of the national recycling goals.

EPR is systematic approach to ensuring commitment to the waste hierarchy of the 3 Rs by facilitating producers to remain responsible in the treatment and disposal of post-consumer products. This at present, is a more sustainable tool over bans as most products are created for utility and cannot be removed from the market overnight. For recyclable items such as PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) and HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) plastic, better alternatives need to be sought which encourage recovery and recyclability.

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CRYSBRO recognised for its entrepreneurial excellence at Star Awards 2020

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Ranjana Mahindasiri, Group HR & Admin Manager, CRYSBRO Group of Companies, receving the Star Award for Farm’s Pride (Pvt.) Ltd

Affirming their leadership in Sri Lanka’s poultry industry, the country’s largest producer of poultry CRYSBRO was recently recognised for their entrepreneurial excellence at star awards 2020. Organised by the Department of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Promotion under the Ministry of Industries of the Central Province, the annual State Awards ceremony saw CRYSBRO’s subsidiaries Farm’s Pride (Pvt.) Ltd win a ‘Star Award’ and Midland Breeders (Pvt.) Ltd win the highly coveted ‘Merit Award’ as the Best Performing Entrepreneurs in the large scale manufacturing category within the Central Province.

The prestigious awards ceremony was held at the Grand Kandy Hotel with Governor of the Central Province, Lalith U Gamage attending as its Chief Guest. Held annually, Star Awards is known for its comprehensive assessments of its entrants which entail a mix of field visits, presentations and several rounds of thorough interviews. They assess both the performance of the organization and its operations, as well as its entrepreneurial spirit.

“We are deeply humbled and honoured to receive this national recognition for entrepreneurial excellence and resilience especially during these unprecedented times. Our primary intention when applying to awards is to gain a better understanding of industry best practices and continue to elevate industry benchmarks within our own operations. The comprehensive assessments done by awarding bodies give an opportunity to find where we have to improve and what we are doing right, so that at the end of the day we provide poultry produce of the highest quality and safety to our customers. This is invaluable intel and winning an award thereafter is a cherry on top. I would like to also highlight that this victory is clear reflection of the collective commitment and hard work put in by the team at CRYSBRO as well as the patronage of our loyal customer base”, stated CRYSBRO Group of Companies, Group HR and Admin Manager Ranjana Mahindasiri.

As Sri Lanka’s largest poultry producer, this marks the second time the company is recognised for its excellence in operations. They were first awarded a state honour with the ‘Lak Rakiya Harasara’ award by the Ministry of Manpower.

CRYSBRO actively contributes to bolstering the country’s food security agenda as well as towards empowering the rural economy and its communities, inciting major communal and economical transformation in these regions through a series of powerful grass root initiatives.

Under CRYSBRO’s ‘Diri Saviya’ program, over 1,200 maize and rice farmers as well as 250 plus poultry smallholders are given access to a wealth of essential technical and infrastructural facilities to strengthen their operations, allowing them to sell their produce at market prices without the need for any intermediaries. Through ‘Sisu Diriya’, the company offered study material, scholarships and corporate internships to school children and students completing their university or vocational education. The project also contributed the development of better infrastructure facilities in under-developed schools across the island, as well as the donating of books to libraries.

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Skal International Colombo holds 67th Annual General Meeting

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L-R Chief Guest Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Foreign Secretary, Dinushka Chandrasena (president Skal International Colombo), Bernard Wijetunge (Immidiate Past President) and Guest Speaker Rayhan Wanniappa, Director (Air Transportation and Economic Regulation) Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

The 67th Annual General meeting of Skal International was held recently at the Taj Samudra in Colombo on February 24. Sk. Dinushka Chandrasena, Managing Director of Travel Talk Asia was elected president and Sk. Ahintha Amarasinghe, Managing Director World Link Travels as Vice President for the year 2021/2022.

The Chief Guest at the event was Admiral Prof Jayanath Colombage, Foreign Secretary and the Guest Speaker was Rayhan Wanniappa, Director Air Transportation and Economic Regulation, Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

Skål, founded in 1932, is a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry with over 12,000 members in 99 countries.

Two new members were inducted during the luncheon, Pankaj Sampat, Area Director (Taj Asia Ltd) and TSL (Taj Safaris Ltd), General Manager for Taj Samudra, Colombo along with Kiran Bussari, Hotel Manager of Taj Samudra, Colombo.

Two awards of recognition for their longstanding service on the Ex-co were given to Sk Zahara Mufti and Sk Sega Nagendra.

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D. Samson Industries signs MoU with Faculty of Medicine University of Colombo

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The formalising of the MOU

D. Samson Industries recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Faculty of Medicine University of Colombo (FOMUOC). The objective of this partnership was to collaborate for the production of a Beta Brand-Diabetic Shoe Range.

Professor Chandrika Wijeyaratne, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Kasun Rajapaksa, Managing Director of D. Samson Industries (Pvt) Ltd., Professor Vajira Dissanayake, the Dean, Faculty of Medicine University of Colombo , Professor Mandika Wijeyaratne, Head Department of Surgery, Dr. Chathuranga Ranasinghe, Coordinator Sports and Exercise Medicine Unit, Dr Romain Perera, Dr. Thusitha Kahaduwa, Dilshan Rajapaksa, Director at DSI, Oshini Jayasooriya, Business Development Manager at DSI and Janaka Bandara, Assistant Business Development Manager at DSI were among those present at the signing of the MoU.

The number of diabetic patients in Sri Lanka is currently growing at an alarming level which calls for urgent medical attention and focus from medical authorities such as FOMUOC and SLMA. Beta diabetic shoes, produced by D. Samson Industries (Pvt) Ltd, are specially designed shoes intended to offer protection for diabetic feet and reduce the risk of skin breakdown, primarily in case of poor circulation, neuropathy and foot abnormalities. It is necessary to make diabetic patients aware of the benefits of this diabetic footwear, which can protect their feet in every level.

Beta diabetic shoes are designed with a protective interior made with soft material and with no stitching, as sometimes even the smallest prominence can irritate and cause skin breakdown in diabetic foot. The top of the shoe is soft and stretchable to suit tender and deformed feet. In addition, beta diabetic shoes contain special insoles that provide support, conform to the contours of the foot and reduce pressure on the bottom of the foot. The specially designed lightweight soles of the shoes are designed to facilitate ease of mobility.

The continuous improvement and development of the beta brand diabetic footwear will be undertaken with technical advice, research and support from the Faculty of Medicine University of Colombo. With the added advice and consultation of the NIROGI Lanka project of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, this footwear will be of optimal use to diabetic patients.

 

 

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