In this installment of "A Journey Around YKK Global Facilities," we take you to YKK Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. where our team is doing incredible work to help reduce plastic waste.
Current situation with plastic waste in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an island, with water rich rivers flowing to the Indian ocean all around the country. The waste management practices are poor in Sri Lanka and there is no standard practice to dispose plastic waste. Plastic waste goes to the rivers when it rains and ends up in the Indian ocean. Most plastic pollution can be found at the beaches around Sri Lanka. The Seethawaka Export Processing Zone (SEPZ) is located only 38km from the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by the Kelani River, Seethawaka River and Yaha Ela. This area has no proper waste management plan for plastic disposal. This increases the chances that plastic waste also ends up in the Indian ocean.
What YKK is doing to help solve this situation
Last year, YKK collaborated with ECO Spindles (ECOS) and purchased recycled polyester yarn to manufacture YKK's NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zipper. ECO Spindles collects PET from all over Sri Lanka for their production, especially from coastal areas. To help match ECOS’ requirement on waste PET, and to address the issue of PET waste disposal at SEPZ, YKK Lanka decided to initiate a PET collection project in SEPZ as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative. YKK Lanka installed 12 PET collection cages at the factories in SEPZ. Each collector can hold around 1,500 PET bottles. The team completed the installation of the PET collection cages in December 2019. Through this project, YKK Lanka’s customers could use YKK zippers made by their own waste PET.