ECONOMYNEXT – Sustainability needs to become a part of how business is carried out and not just something to do on the side, said Sharika Senanyake, Director Environmental Sustainability of apparel exporter MAS Holdings.
“As a manufacturer, we have been on a sustainability journey for a while,” she told a business forum organized by Sri Lanka’s retail chains.
“About three to four years ago we sat down and thought of how sustainability is going to affect us as a business, and how to integrate it into our business.”
MAS currently uses yarn that has been made out of recycled plastic bottles (PET bottles).
“Sri Lanka being one of the polluted coastal countries, we looked at the waste and thought how we can convert it into a raw material,” she said.
This project is done together with the navy and yarn manufactures.
“This has been fantastic for us because when we look around at the rest of the world, we believe we have embarked on something by accident, but there is a very high demand for it.”
Making yarn from recycled PET is also cheaper than making it from virgin PET, said Senanyake.
She said that this is something retailers can think about, to avoid the issue of single-use plastic.
“Is there any way retailers can reuse and incorporate plastic and bring down the cost of their manufacturing and get all of that back?”
MAS also uses the sludge, or industrial waste, they make as a source of fuel. (COLOMBO, 23 October 2018)