Eco Spindles improves waste management practices | Sunday Observer

Eco Spindles improves waste management practices

19 June, 2022

To commemorate World Environment Day on June 5 and World Oceans Day on June 8, Sri Lanka’s largest plastics recycler, Eco Spindles (Pvt.) Ltd., has amplified its efforts to instill better waste management practices among Sri Lankan consumers using technology.

The ‘Waste 2 Value’ app launched by the company on March 18, 2020 – coinciding with the Global Recycling Day – can be downloaded via the Google Play Store and the Apple (iOS) App Store. The app allows users to locate more than 400 drop-off bins in the Western Province and more than 100 in other areas in Sri Lanka and dispose of their plastic waste responsibly without harming the environment. Plastic waste disposed of at these bins is recycled by Eco Spindles to primarily generate foreign exchange earnings for the country through value-added exports.

By the end of this year, Eco Spindles plans to have 700 drop-off bins in the Western Province and 300 in other areas of the country. This will bring the country-wide total to 1,000, further amplifying Eco Spindles’ recycling initiatives and allowing the public to play a greater role in protecting the environment from plastic waste, one of the biggest pollutants.

Besides allowing users to locate the nearest plastic waste disposal bins and the relevant contact details, the Waste 2 Value app also motivates and influences behavioural change.

“Driving behavioural change among the public is essential to achieving meaningful change in the battle against pollution caused by the improper disposal of plastics,” said Dr. Anush Amarasinghe, Managing Director and CEO of BPPL Holdings – the parent company of EcoSpindles.

“As a corporate leader in environmental sustainability, Eco Spindles seeks to provide the tools to empower environmentally-conscious consumers while also parallelly strengthening the country-wide plastic collection network and infrastructure, giving the public more convenient access to such collection points.

“Besides inculcating such practices among consumers, we are also helping producers and corporates to significantly improve the sustainability of their offerings – particularly in the apparel industry, both locally and globally by giving PET plastic a second life,” Dr. Amarasinghe added. “Sourcing from Eco Spindles ensures that the raw material used for fabric production, has in turn been produced in conformity with the highest levels of environmental sustainability,” he said.

Eco Spindles use the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) waste collected through these efforts to produce value-added products, including polyester yarn for the Sri Lankan apparel industry. This enables the apparel industry, which has a significant environmental footprint, to improve the sustainability credentials of its products.

Polyester yarn produced locally by Eco Spindles reduces the need for the apparel industry to import these raw materials, saving the country a large amount of valuable foreign exchange. Last year, Eco Spindles save an estimated $2 million in foreign exchange – equivalent to 4% of Sri Lanka’s total polyester yarn imports for apparel exports.

This year, this is expected to increase to $3.3 million, as Eco Spindles will supply 7% of the country’s polyester yarn needs for apparel exports following the expansion of the company’s manufacturing capacity.

The quality synthetic monofilaments manufactured by Eco Spindles for cleaning tools and brushes and using recycled PET plastics similarly reduces the need for raw material imports, saving the country valuable foreign exchange. Last year, such savings through monofilaments produced locally by Eco Spindles were estimated to be $3.4 million, a company spokesman said.

Eco Spindles, Sri Lanka’s largest plastics recycler, is equipped with one of only two plants in the world capable of creating polyester yarn directly from recycled PET plastic flakes. The company has significantly bolstered Sri Lanka’s recycling capabilities by creating a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem for recycling within the country.

Founded in 1984, BPPL Holdings PLC, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Eco Spindles (Pvt.) Ltd. and Beira Brush (Pvt.) Ltd. export recycled polyester yarn, monofilaments and professional and household cleaning tools to international markets, primarily in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, with considerable market share in each region. The Group also produces household cleaning tools retailed locally under the brand ‘Tip Top’.