Keells Super pioneers recycling plastic bottles drive

Saturday, 3 March 2012 00:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In keeping with its commitment to protect and enhance the Environment, Keells Super, along with JKH’s CSR arm John Keells Foundation, announced a brand new initiative to recycle plastic bottles.

This initiative is an “industry first” in Sri Lanka. The project was launched on Friday, 24 February 2012 as a pilot project by JayKay Marketing Services (Pvt) Ltd. at its Keells Super outlet at Union Place in collaboration with Neptune Recyclers (Pvt) Ltd., the contractor who will ensure the collection and recycling of the plastic bottles.

Environmental protection is critical today more than ever: people are taking steps to minimise the negative impact we have on the planet. Undoubtedly, recycling non-biodegradable materials like plastic bottles can be considered a significant contribution to these efforts.

Plastic is a versatile synthetic material and has integrated itself in human usage over the years. We wrap our food in it, store items in it, drink from it and eat off it, we have parties surrounded by plastic and even wear it; of all this plastic only a small fraction is recycled.

Much of the rest of this plastic goes into landfills and takes 200–400 years to decompose. On the other hand, recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. Studies also confirm that the recycling of plastic has one of the best carbon saving consequences of any of the major materials.

Recognising the importance of promoting responsible consumer use and disposal of plastic, JayKay Marketing Services, which owns and operates the Keells Super supermarket chain, collaborated with the CSR arm of the John Keells Group, John Keells Foundation, and Neptune Recyclers (Pvt) Ltd. to pioneer the concept of collecting and recycling plastic bottles.

Since plastic materials degrade at an extremely slow pace and emit hazardous chemicals into the environment, it is critical to keep plastic out of waste streams. Neptune will collect the plastic bottles from the bins twice a week. Plastic bottles will then be melted into pellets, which will be reused in a variety of ways. This will minimise the dumping of plastic waste into landfills and arrest the negative impact on the environment.

Keells Super has given leadership and taken concrete action to create environmental awareness and support conservation. Prior to this latest initiative, Keells Super has set other industry firsts: like introducing a reusable cloth shopping bag and the promotion of cardboard boxes to carry customers’ purchases. Based on the success of this plastic bottle recycling pilot project, Keells Super will be rolling this out to all other outlets.

As part of the John Keells Group’s commitment to protect and enhance the Environment, the Group strives to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment. The John Keells Foundation is partnering the Group’s businesses and its sustainability initiative to achieve this aim.