Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon (Hikka Tranz) together with the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) and Plasticcycle – the Social Entrepreneurship project of John Keells Group, launched an initiative on the 30th of January 2020 to maintain a stretch of beach along the resort premises. This initiative looks towards the placement of specially designed plastic waste collections bins and includes a series of long-term clean-up activities to preserve the beach as part of a “Beach Caretaker” programme initiated by MEPA.
The build-up of plastic waste along the coastlines have been on the increase as a result of plastics that wash up along the shorelines from both within and outside of Sri Lanka. The programme kicked off with a beach clean-up with the participation of the Local Law Enforcement Officials, officials from the Hikkaduwa Hotels Association, members from the Dive Centers, staff and guests of Hikka Tranz as well as beach caretakers from the surrounding community.
The General Manager Operations of Hikka Tranz, Mr. Lankesha Ponnamperuma stated that the coastline along Hikkaduwa is visited by approximately 6,000 tourists a day with that number doubling during peak holiday season and long weekends.
In addition to the beach clean-up and the three dedicated turtle shaped bins that were placed adjacent to the resort, the staff of Hikka Tranz, raised awareness among the participants and volunteers by sharing a reference guide on fish and corals that inhabit the Hikkaduwa reef. This is in addition to the programmes that are been conducted by Hikka Tranz on a regular basis to educate the youth living in the area on best practices for the preservation of the reef.
Moreover, a youth programme was developed and launched introducing “guided-snorkeling” developing more sustainable and professional business with minimum harm to the environment, while increasing awareness among the visitors.
Projects such as the above are partnered by Plasticcycle in furtherance of its vision to reduce plastic pollution in Sri Lanka by encouraging the reduction and rationalization of use, supporting responsible disposal & promoting recycling initiatives.
Plasticcycle recently reached a milestone of on its bin placement initiative by collecting 50 Metric Tons of plastic waste for responsible recycling. The Manager Operations of Plasticcycle, Buddhika Muthukumarana stated that Plasticcycle aims to facilitate replicating this model in other areas of the Sri Lankan coastal belt partnering with MEPA, Cinnamon Hotels & other stakeholders.
Plasticcycle is a social entrepreneurship project of John Keells Holdings (PLC), Sri Lanka’s largest listed company in the Colombo Stock Exchange operating over 70 companies in 7 diverse industry sectors and in 2020 John Keells Group celebrates 150 years being in business and contributing to the Sri Lankan economy and development of the country. JKH provides employment to over 14,000 persons and has been ranked as Sri Lanka’s ‘Most Respected Entity’ for the last 14 Years by LMD Magazine. Whilst being a full member of the World Economic Forum and a Member of the UN Global Compact, the Group drives its vision of “empowering the nation for tomorrow,” through the John Keells Foundation and through the social entrepreneurship initiative, ‘Plasticcycle’, is a catalyst in scientifically reducing plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.