Sri Lanka recycling 30-pct of waste plastic, producing apparel, exports

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is re-cycling 30 percent of its waster plastic including waste washing up on its shores, into fabric and brushes, which is turning into multi-million dollar businesses, officials said.

Trischel Fabric (Pvt.) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka’s MAS Holdings had produced 4500 meters of fabric with yarn made of waste plastic bottles, including those collected from Sri Lanka’s beaches.

Sri Lanka cricket team’s World Cup jersey in May 2019 was made with recycled yarn produced by Eco Spindles (Pvt) Ltd, a unit of Sri Lanka’s BPPL group.

Officials say it takes about 10 PET bottles to produce enough yarn to make a jersey.

“The interesting thing is if you actually look at what we produced a year today, if you convert that into bottles, it’s 54 million bottles,” Chief Executive Officer at MAS Trischel, Dhanushka Fernando said at a forum organized by Sri Lanka’s American Chamber of Commerce.

MAS Holdings, a maker of intimate, sports and swimwear had launched an initiative collaborating with the Navy, Sri Lanka Cricket and Eco Spindles (Ltd), a unit of Sri Lanka’s BPPL group, Sri Lanka Cricket and Sri Lanka Navy to collect beach plastic.

“Looking at plastic, Sri Lanka has a tacklable problem,” MAS Kreeda chief executive and managing Director Sarinda Unamboowe says.

Sri Lanka is already recycling about 30 percent of its plastic water.

“We (Sri Lanka) import 1500 metric tons of plastic polymer a month and 30 percent of that is re-exported and 680 ton finds its way into the landfills,” said General Manager at MAS Active, Nimesh Amalean.

Most of the brands MAS work with are expected to stop using virgin polyester raw materials by 2025 when the recycled business could be a 25 million US dollar business. (Colombo/Nov11/2019)