A special recycle bin prepared for the project was presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the official MoU signing event with the participation of Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera, Atlas Axillia Managing Director Asitha Samaraweera and senior officers of the Ministry of Environment
Atlas Axillia Co. Ltd. has announced its partnership with the Ministry of Environment to support its special environmental initiative ‘Not a rule but a discipline’. The initiative aims to inculcate the habit of protecting the environment in school children, and adults by encouraging them to recycle used plastic pens and toothbrushes, instead of discarding them as garbage.
A special recycle bin prepared for the project was presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 26 October in a simple event to launch the project held at the Presidential Secretariat, with the participation of Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera, Atlas Axillia Managing Director Asitha Samaraweera and senior officers of the Ministry of Environment.
This initiative started along the theme of ‘Let’s discipline ourselves before we build the nation’ to reduce plastic consumption in Sri Lanka, especially among the school children. It was envisioned that the society will benefit when the next generation is disciplined and inculcated with the thought process of being environmentally friendly and will help to keep the country less polluted in the future. It was also considered important that children understand how a habit created today can build up to a bigger initiative in the long run. “As the market leader in pens, and a company with sustainability as part of its ethos, Atlas is the first in the stationery industry to focus on collecting discarded pens. We started the ‘Atlas Haritha Pasela’ initiative in February of this year, to collect used pens at school level and trialed the project out in 6 schools in the Western Province. The collaboration with the Ministry of Environment to support its efforts to recycle used pens and toothbrushes all over the country, is therefore a natural progression for us. It is essential that we step up today, for our future generations,” said Samaraweera, commenting on the partnership.
As a first step, the collection bins for the project designed to contain up to 2000 pens, will be placed at every school in the country. The collected pens and toothbrushes will be recycled, in order to reduce addition of new plastic to the circulation.
The Ministry will also launch the initiative to offices and workplaces parallel to the project being launched in schools. According to estimations by the Ministry of Environment, the quantity of carbon pen tubes discarded from schools per day is around 80 kg and is estimated to exceed 29,000 kg per annum, while the quantity discharged from public and private institutions is yet to be calculated. Atlas Axillia Co. Ltd., formerly known as Ceylon Pencil Company Ltd., was founded in 1959 and has since grown to become Sri Lanka’s market leader in school stationery manufacturing. Fuelled by a passion for making learning fun, ‘Atlas’ has created a strong connection with Sri Lankan consumers, being voted No. 1 School Supply Brand of the year 2020 at the People’s Choice Awards and has also recently won many national and international awards for excellence including the National Quality Award 2018 and the Global Performance Excellence Award 2019.