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Managing Plastic Pollution as a Collective Responsibility

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WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY-2021

By Chandrika Thilakaratne

CEO, Sri Lanka Accreditation Board

World Consumer Rights day is marked each year on March 15 under a theme which is remarkably important for consumer health and safety and environment. Consumers International (CI), the world organization for consumer groups working on consumers rights and responsibilities, has declared 2021 world Consumer Rights Day theme as “Tackling Plastic Pollution” considering its global importance. According to internationally accepted consumer rights, all consumers have right to safety and to live in a healthier environment. In order to protect the planet and provide fair social conditions for current and future generations, we need to think about the way we produce and consume goods and services. Sustainable consumption is about doing more and better with less use of resources. Its aim is to increase resource efficiency and fair trade while helping to alleviate poverty and enable everyone to enjoy a good quality of life with access to food, water, energy, medicine and more.

Plastic is a useful material in our everyday lives, but our consumption and production of plastics, especially single-use plastic, have become unsustainable. This is impacting our ecosystems, causing negative environmental consequences, including pollution of the local and international environment, and threatening human health. As per the information given by the Consumers international, by the year 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

Further CI states that 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year. Single use plastics account for 50 percent of the plastic produced every year. Further it is alarming to note that half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years and 40% of plastic produced is packaging and discarded after one use.
Systemic marketplace change is required at all levels from government, regulatory agencies, businesses, standard setters, testing and Certification bodies, accreditation bodies and consumers to manage plastic pollution and promote sustainable consumption and production.

Use of 7 R Model to manage plastic pollution

This is something that everyone at any level starting from plastic produces, businesses who are using plastic in different stages of their production, packaging industry, and consumers, could practise.

As a socially responsible and conscious producer/ consumer it is high time to think in what ways we can contribute to the global need to reduce plastic pollution. Further, this movement should be encouraged by the government introducing sensible policies and programs to manage plastic pollution in the Country.

Do our regulations effective in tackling plastic pollution?

Sri Lanka has introduced several regulations to curb plastic pollution time to time. We need to evaluate the contribution of these regulations and see whether they have achieved expected results.

 

 

Even though the regulations are introduced, due to lack of monitoring and enforcement we could not achieve expected results up to now. Some regulations in force such as trader cannot charge from the consumer for bags/wrappers issued to the consumer at the time of selling a product has undoubtedly created a huge negative impact on reducing plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.

 

 

The regulatory agencies such as Central Environmental Authority, Consumer Affairs Authority, Marine environmental Protection Authority etc need to do Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) to see the impact of current regulations and their effectiveness in reducing plastic pollution. Whenever there are changes in the regulations required, urgent steps have to be taken to introduce such changes. In managing plastic pollution regulatory agencies have a pivotal role to play.

 

Contribution of Standards and Labelling

Consumer demand for sustainable products helps to promote circular and regenerative economy. Accessible information is one of the most important ways to support consumers in their everyday purchase decisions.

Following ISO standards will help the packaging /product manufacturers in developing their packaging/products in environmentally friendly manner.

Recycled Content

ISO 14021 – Environmental labels and declarations — Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labelling)

For self-declared environmental claims, including recycled content and recycled material

Materials and recyclability

ISO 18604 – Packaging and the environment — Material recycling

Compostable and Biodegradable

ISO 18606-Packaging and the environment – Organic Recycling

Eco Labels

ISO 14020 – Environmental labels and declarations – General Principles

ISO 14024- Environmental labels and declarations – Type 1 Environmental labelling – Type 1 label is a voluntary, multiple criteria based third party program that awards a license which authorize the use of environmental labels on products, indicating overall environmental preferability of a product within a particular product category based on lifecycle considerations.

In order for the industry to encourage the use of above standards, the government has to play a facilitative role by providing necessary infrastructure such as research and development and testing facilities. Currently, there is a need to promote accredited testing facilities for the industry on packaging material testing. Further, currently there is a need to develop a national guideline on ecolabelling.

In order to contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 12 Sustainable Consumption and production, we all have a collective responsibility to make changes in the way that our society produce and consume goods and services. The Government, the business sector and the consumers must contribute in their capacity to changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns to sustainable consumption and production patterns.



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Features

To recognise and reward Women Entrepreneur

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by Zanita Careem

WCIC “Prathibhabis-heka” national awards will be given to outstanding women entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka and the SAARC said Anoji de Silva, the chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce WCIC at a press conference held at the Jetwing hotel Ward PlaceThis year the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by DFCS Aloka.This National Award which is recognised globally will help women to market their products to international buyers

“As a country we have faced many difficulties over the last few years. Now this is the time to reflect and ensure that local women can contribute and progress to be on par with international entrepreneurs She also noted that this award ceremony is a great opportunity for all since it’s an absolutely empowering platform. “You hear success stories of women from different walks of life and it’s very empowering and inspiring. I’m sure that the younger generation of women who will watch the ceremony wii be inspired to be sucessful entrepreneurs in the future S

“Our women entrepreneurs have the potential to help our economy to grow. They have made vast strides to build companies on a set of values and they have created diverse working environments.

The WCIC Prathibhabisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards will be held in January 22. To the question how financial records of small businesses headed by women could deter their ability to apply the chairperson said.

“We have a startup category which is under five years where they can submit documents for consideration. She responded “These women can apply but must submit proper records to back their applications or else they will be rejected wholeheartedly.The Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022

“Prathibha” depicts excellence in Sanskrit and WCIC will showcase the excellence of outstanding women entrepreneurs through WCIC Prathibhabisheka –

“The relaunched property is structured to assess the businesses in a holistic manner. We invite outstanding women entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have braved the challenges in the past years to share their story of resilience and achievements to compete for the coveted – WCIC Prathibhabisheka The Awards will honour women entrepreneurs for their tenacity to scale and grow, and for their contribution and impact on the economy. Whilst the competition is primarily for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, we have also included an opportunity for women in the SAARC region to compete in a special category” stated Anoji De Silva, the Chairperson of the WCIC.

The members of WCIC Ramani Ponnambalam and Tusitha Kumarakul-asingam, said”. We will be accepting applications under the categories – Start-up, Micro, Small, Medium and Large. Each category will have a specified revenue for the year under review – 2021/22. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be presented for each category. With the view to identify and promote regional women entrepreneurs, we will encourage applications from all the provinces in the country and select the “Best of the Region” from each province.

The women will also be considered for the coveted special awards – Young Woman Entrepreneur, Outstanding Start- up, Most Positively Abled Woman Entrepreneur, The Most Outstanding Export Oriented Entrepreneur, The Best of the SAARC Region. The ceremony will culminate with the selection of the “Women Entrepreneur of the year -2022”.

“The entry kit can be downloaded from www.wcicsl.lk and completed and submitted to the WCIC along with all the material required to substantiate the applicant’s story. Entries close on the 31st of October.” stated Tusitha Kumarak-ulasingam.

WCIC Prathibabisheka – Woman Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by– DFCC Aloka, as the Platinum Sponsor, with Gold Sponsors – Mclarens Group, LOLL Holdings Plc, Hayleys Leisure Pic, and AIA Insurance Lanka Ltd (Exclusive Insurance Partner), Silver – Finez Capital Ventures Print and Social Media Partners will be the Wijeya Group and Electronic Media Partner–ABC Network with Triad as our Creative Partner and Ernst & Young as Knowledge Partner.

Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is the premier organization supporting entrepreneurs and professional business-women. The membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization creates. WCIC Prathibhasheka is relaunched this year as a flagship property, to recognize and reward outstanding women enterpreneurs who make a contribution to the SL economy.

For further information Contact- Janitha Stephens – 0766848080

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Features

Marmalade sandwich in Queen’s handbag!

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In this period of national mourning, it may seem frivolous to comment on the late Queen’s handbag. After seven decades of selfless service to the nation, fashion is but a footnote to Her Majesty’s glorious reign.And yet her style is something that helped to create the powerful majestic image of Queen Elizabeth II, and which made her instantly recognisable worldwide. A key part of that image, and a constant presence in her working life, was her black Launer handbag.

Launer London was Her Majesty’s handbag maker for more than 50 years and has held the Royal Warrant since 1968. Launer bags are formal and structured, and proved to be the ideal regal accessory for public engagements. Its first royal patronage came from HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the 1950s. Where others might have bought the latest ‘It’ bag, Queen Elizabeth exercised characteristic restraint with her handbags throughout her life, focusing on quality over quantity in her loyalty to Launer.

Her Majesty was known for her love of colour in her working wardrobe, wearing rainbow brights in order to be better seen by the public, but her accessories were always muted. Black mostly, sometimes beige or white in summer, gold or silver in the evening: neutrals that matched with every colour, allowing her to dress with ease. The timeless style of her trusty Traviata top-handle bag suited the Queen’s no-nonsense nature and symbolised her steadfast reign. The late Baroness Thatcher shared the Queen’s love of a strong top handle from classic British labels such as Launer and Asprey. These bags helped promote a look of someone in control. Like Queen Elizabeth, Thatcher’s handbags were such a part of her identity that they have earned their own special place in history and have been described as the former PM’s ‘secret weapon’. One such bag has been exhibited at the V&A alongside Sir Winston Churchill’s red despatch box. Both are artefacts of cultural and historic importance.

It has been said that there was another purpose to the Queen’s handbag on public engagements, namely that she used it as a secret signalling device. According to royal historian Hugo Vickers, Her Majesty would switch the bag from her left arm to her right to signal for an aide to come to her rescue if she tired of the conversation in which she was engaged. If she placed the bag on the table, this was a sign that she wanted to leave. Ever-practical, HM needed a bag that focused on functionality over fashion, choosing styles with slightly longer top handles that comfortably looped over the monarch’s arm, freeing her hands to accept bouquets and greet the public. Even in her final photograph, meeting her 15th prime minister in her sitting room at Balmoral Castle, just two days before her death last week, the Queen’s handbag can be seen on her left arm. Perhaps at this stage it was part armour, part comfort blanket.Even at the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II did not lose her ability to surprise. She delighted the public by taking tea with Paddington Bear at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and finally revealed what she keeps in her handbag: a marmalade sandwich, ‘for later’.

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Cinnamon Grand, Colombo welcomes You to the SEQUEL

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The next best thing in Colombo!

What would you get if you took the decadence of yesterday and paired it with the flavours of right now? Something bold and jazzy or rich and snazzy. Something we’d like to call the next best thing. All this and more at Cinnamon City Hotels to the SEQUEL at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo said a press release.

The release said the SEQUEL is where the old meets new, where charm meets sophistication and having a good time gets a new meaning. Colombo’s latest speakeasy cocktail bar is ready to welcome the discerning guest that is looking for that perfectly curated night.

“The SEQUEL will be a novel addition to Colombo’s nightlife catered to enthralling guests with our performances and showmanship,” said Kamal Munasinghe, Area Vice-President, Cinnamon City Hotels.

What do we mean when we say performance? It means that every little detail is tailored to those who appreciate elegance, and a bespoke experience like no other. Think walking into a vintage space accompanied by the sounds of Sinatra and Fitzgerald inviting you to do it your way or for once in your life. Think of the soul-searching and eclectic mix of Winehouse classics that you can drown your sorrows in.

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