10. Shopping in Negombo - MWRP Part 2, Lakshitha Paranagamage

Negombo, Sri Lanka


The MWRP project ‘Reducing/Minimising the Use of Polythene in western coast of Sri Lanka’ was a project operating in Negombo. Its main objective was to reduce marine environmental pollution through reduced plastic and polythene use and improved waste recycling. The main targets of the project’s initiatives were the supermarket sector, hotel sector and harbor and lagoon communities in Negombo. The MWRP creating awareness among these communities on issues concerning plastic and polythene pollution and established waste management systems to reduce open dumping and increase recycling of non-degradable waste.

Pristine Ocean 

Today we’re talking to Lukshitha Paranigamage. 

He’s going to tell us about his experiences at the Municipal Waste Recycling Programme in Negombo. The aim of the project was to reduce the use of plastics in the West Coast of Sri Lanka. It ran for about two years in the municipal area of Negombo and the main targets of project were the supermarket sector, hotel sector and the harbour and lagoons communities. 

While addressing the supermarket sector Lukshitha spoke to a lot of people about their awareness of the ongoing plastic crisis. 

He spoke to people in the street in the supermarket he was talking to them about their use of a particular item of single use plastic. 

The humble plastic shopping bag. 

It was introduced about five decades ago, so most of us who had access to supermarkets grew up with it. It was really the most convenient way of getting our shopping home. 

And when you look at, it’s a technological marvel of lightness strength. 

But nowadays of course it’s recognised as an environmental killer.  In places where the waste management systems are not well managed, the plastic shopping bag has a good chance of landing in a landfill or being burnt in somebody’s backyard. It could also land in the environment, in a waterway and then with the next rainfall get washed into the ocean and that’s where it creates a danger to marine animals. 

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