18 March 2018
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  • » 01/29/2018, 16.15


    Environmentalist calls for the elimination and recycling of plastics to reduce pollution

    Melani Manel Perera

    In Sri Lanka, 20 million lunch sheets, 15 million plastic bags and 10 million empty bottles end up in the environment every day. The only two companies that make plastic bottles earn huge profits. Hemantha Vithanage, founder and executive director of the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), talks about the problem.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) – Hemantha Vithanage, founder and executive director of the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) in Sri Lanka, wants to eliminate plastic bottles and shopping bags and make the recycling of plastic materials legally compulsory. His goal is to save the environment from pollution.

    The environmental protection expert notes that "Even a small country like Fiji has mandatory recycling for plastic bottles. Why can’t Sri Lanka?" he told AsiaNews.

    he acknowledged that the Sri Lankan "government has banned the use of lunch sheets, bottles and shopping bags with effect from 1st September 2017, but they continue to end up in the environment in large quantities".

    For example, "in hotels across the country, when morning, afternoon and night meals are provided, lunch sheets are placed on top of the plate. This is never done in any other country. This is why such a large quantity of plastic continues to end up in the environment.”

    Every day, "20 million lunch sheets, 15 million plastic bags and 10 million empty bottles are dumped into the environment. This way, environmental pollution will never end."

    "The production costs of plastic bottles is around two rupees (US$ 0,013) per piece, but profits for the only two companies involved in making plastic are huge: 50 rupees (US$ 0.32) for one and 16.50 rupees (US$ 0.11) for the other".

    According to Vithanage, the only solution is mandatory recycling. "Manufacturers should reuse plastic content after it is recycled.” Even better, “All water bottles should made in glass bottles or be recycled." Sadly, “bottlers earn huge profits without recycling.”

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    See also

    22/10/2011 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka, 4 million people suffer from hunger. A "Food Justice Campaign”
    It's called "Grow" and is sponsored by humanitarian group Oxfam International. Pregnant women and children are the most malnourished groups. One in 5 children born underweight. Approximately 500 thousand children under 5 years are underweight.

    06/02/2017 18:25:00 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese activist accused of "abusing democratic freedoms"

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    14/11/2016 13:41:00 VIETNAM
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    The activist was arrested on 10 October for "propaganda against the state." She had written many articles against the Formosa Plastics Group and the pollution crisis in the central provinces. Catholics and others sign a letter stating that “Mẹ Nấm is innocent and hundreds of thousands of people are fighting with her."

    01/07/2016 13:39:00 VIETNAM
    Hanoi admits Formosa Plastic Group responsible for environmental disaster, will pay damages

    After three months of investigation, the government blames steel maker for tonnes of dead fish and marine pollution. The company will pay US$ 500 million in compensation. For activists and dissidents, this is not enough given the damage to millions of people who need long-term help. The authorities too are responsible.

    12/05/2017 14:03:00 VIETNAM
    Catholic media launch appeal for Vietnamese priests defamed by the government

    Fr. Đặng Hữu Nam and Fr. Nguyễn Đình Thục support protests against the government for failing to distribute compensation from a company responsible for one of the most serious environmental disasters in the country's history. The Catholic Mass Media Federation in a statement: "Immediately stop terrorist acts against the priests of Thuận Nghĩa." "With our total confidence in God, we are in communion, we share and accompany the victims of the disaster." "We call upon international bodies to accompany us in the fight for human rights and religious freedom in Vietnam."

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