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Kalhari wins Gold Award for Recycling

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Kalhari Group of Companies Chairman/Managing Director Kaushal Rajapaksa receiving the Gold Award for Recycled Products at the NCE Export Awards 2018

Kalhari Group won the Gold Award for Recycled Products at the recently held NCE Export Awards 2018. The company which has consistently won NCE Awards over more than 10 years is today a leader in the field of exporting recycled products to various countries around the world. This is also the first time the National Chamber of Exporters introduced a Gold Award for Recycled Products.

“I owe this award to my team. They have been with me and have worked hard to bring this success to Kalhari,” Chairman/Managing Director Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa said. “This is the 10th award we have won at the NCE National Export Awards.”

The Kalhari Group which exports recycled tyre waste, rubber waste, post-consumer PET bottles and steel dust, has factories in Sapugaskanda, Mahara and Minuwangoda while its head office is in the rural village of Heiyantuduwa. 

“We commenced operations in 2003 and have come a long way,” said Rajapaksa. He has steered Kalhari towards greater success each year, consolidating and expanding to newer fields while developing the community around the village of Heiyantuduwa which provides eighty percent of the workforce. 

The Kalhari Group has exported significant quantities of recycled material to five countries including Thailand and Pakistan. The company has made a major impact on controlling environmental pollution and waste management in Sri Lanka and enjoys the confidence of key regulatory bodies. 

Rajapaksa is also a Director of Building-A-Future Foundation – an organisation dedicated to the training of youth in ocean-based activities. He is in addition a Director of the SailLanka Yachting Group, the leading yacht manufacturing and chartering group of companies in Sri Lanka.

Kaushal Rajapaksa was twice the recipient of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award. In 2014, Rajapaksa received the prestigious Merit Award from the Plastic and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka for his significant contribution towards the development and growth of the country’s Polymer Industry.

Rajapaksa is a widely respected industrialist and holds several posts of responsibility in industrial bodies. He is the Vice President of the Plastics and Rubber Institute, Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Management UK-Sri Lanka Branch, Chairman of the Minuwangoda Industrial Estate, Management Committee Member of the National Chamber of Exporters and also Executive Committee Member of the Institute of Environmental Professionals – Sri Lanka.

As an active member of Lions District 306 B2 he is currently the Chairman of the Environment Committee. Kaushal Rajapaksa not only contributes to the community but also encourages his staff to share their success generously with others. Last year, he organised awareness seminars for 2000 students with the help of The Institute of Environmental Professionals and the Lions District B2. These seminars were held in Biyagama, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. He also plans to distribute Jak plants following an MOU to be signed this year with the Hadabima Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Our main export product is tyre waste, a large amount of which is produced in the tyre rebuilding industry. In Japan, Australia and New Zealand, they use this tyre dust to make artificial ‘green’ playing fields as well as rubber floor tiles,” Rajapaksa explained. “Pakistan produces oil from tyres. They also make shoe soles. Thailand produces solid tyres and conveyor belts.” The Chairman of the Kalhari Group says that they export Sri Lanka’s waste material for which they earn valuable foreign exchange. 

“My knowledge is readily available to anyone who wishes to grow as an entrepreneur in the field of recycling. We need more and more small and medium entrepreneurs. I am keen to change attitudes in Sri Lanka and am interested in diversifying only into areas that directly benefit the community.”

“Recycling should be the responsibility of the producer and we need to create more awareness on the disposal of plastic and rubber products by implementing EPR – Extended Producer Responsibility which will enable Sri Lanka to address the waste disposal and management problem to a great extent. We are planning to build up partnerships in the provinces to expand the recycling industry and also educate the public on the responsible disposal of waste. We are very grateful to the government authorities for the assistance given so far, and look forward to working with them even more closely in the future. This award is for them too,” Kaushal Rajapaksa concluded.


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