Colombo, November 5, 2020 – Atlas Axillia Co. (Private) Limited has announced its partnership with the Ministry of Environment to support its special environmental initiative “Not a rule but a discipline – නීතියක් නොවෙයි විනයක්”. The initiative aims to inculcate the habit of protecting the environment in school children, and adults by encouraging them to recycle used plastic pens and toothbrushes, instead of discarding them as garbage. A special recycle bin prepared for the project was presented to President Gotabhya Rajapaksa on the 26th of October in a simple event to launch the project held at the Presidential Secretariat, with the participation of Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment; Asitha Samaraweera, Managing Director, Atlas Axillia; and senior officers of the Ministry of Environment.
This initiative started along the theme of ‘Let’s discipline ourselves before we build the nation’ – අපි හැදිලා රට හදමු to reduce plastic consumption in Sri Lanka, especially among the school children. It was envisioned that the society will benefit when the next generation is disciplined and inculcated with the thought process of being environmentally friendly and will help to keep the country less polluted in the future. It was also considered important that children understand how a habit created today can build up to a bigger initiatives in the long run.
“As the market leader in pens, and a company with sustainability as part of its ethos, Atlas is the first in the stationery industry to focus on collecting discarded pens. We started the “Atlas Haritha Pasela” initiative in February of this year, to collect used pens at school level and trialed the project out in 6 schools in the Western Province. The collaboration with the Ministry of Environment to support its efforts to recycle used pens and toothbrushes all over the country, is therefore a natural progression for us. It is essential that we step up today, for our future generations.” Asitha Samaraweera, Managing Director, Atlas Axillia stated, commenting on the partnership.
As a first step, the collection bins for the project designed to contain up to 2000 pens, will be placed at every school in the country. The collected pens and toothbrushes will be recycled, in order to reduce addition of new plastic to the circulation. The Ministry will also launch the initiative to offices and workplaces parallel to the project being launched in Schools. According to estimations by the Ministry of Environment, the quantity of carbon pen tubes discarded from schools per day is around 80 kg and is estimated to exceed 29,000 kg per annum, while the quantity discharged from public and private institutions is yet to be calculated.