Waste Less Arugam Bay (WLAB) is an intervention into the booming coastal tourist destination of Arugam Bay in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Our partnership with Development International Group (DIG) is a unique opportunity to not only establish a waste segregation system for plastics but also implement a new identity of Arugam Bay as a sustainable/green tourist destination.
As a principle, the whole WLAB setup is housed in re-purposed shipping containers to be easily move-able or reproducible. Proven a success the concept could be easily moved and/or reproduced in any tourist destination in Sri Lanka where the demand for waste management through tourism industry diminishes the waste management provided for local population, leading to illegal dumping and/or burning, both a short and long term health hazard.
Our aim is to influence the behavior of three groups regarding plastics pollution: local school children, local business owners, and tourists.
Tourists and travelers are provided with an alternative to purchasing PET bottled water with our publicly accessible water filtration system. Visitors can not only refill their bottles but are also educated about the amount of resources that are used to create virgin plastic plastic bottles. Furthermore we encourage all visitors to act as our “ambassadors“ and nurture a demand of refill options with the local businesses. As a long term result we envision a model tourist destination with a network of water refill options to create as little as possible waste from plastic bottles. Furthermore tourist can experience a small scale recycling process first hand by making a recycled plastic souvenir in our learning center which is equipped with open source recycling machinery.
Local business owners are provided with a reliable waste collection and segregation system. We distribute collection bins for the businesses to separate the plastic bottles from the waste stream to the landfill. Our collection vehicle provides daily service and brings the plastic bottles to our project location on Arugam Bay’s busy main street to be baled. The baling process as well as the baled bottles are publicly visible to create further awareness about the scale of the problem of plastic consumption and potential pollution of the environment.
When transport is economically viable we send the bottles to Eco Spindle’s synthetic yarn production facility in Horana where the PET is turned into 100% recycled plastic polyester yarn, therewith lowering the need for virgin plastic in polyester production.
Local school children will be educated about the potential harm of plastics and how wrong usage and disposal can create hazards to their environment and health. Our partner Waste Less India (wastelessindia.org) has developed a comprehensive curriculum and accompanying games which are implemented by our team in the local schools of the area.
Help Arugam Bay become a responsible and conscious travel destination that Sri Lankan’s and the global community can be proud of.
Provide holistic solutions to waste related issues in Arugam Bay and its surroundings by responsible collection of waste, introducing alternatives and educating the local and traveling community.