The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is an activity within the framework of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.

Recycling for Sustainable production

Your title/position Assistant Manager
Type of Enterprise non-profit organization
Year the ngo or company was founded 2011
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Explain your project in details:

As I have observed the recycling industry in Sri Lanka while I was managing a waste management project for a Not for profit organization. The fundamental gap in the industry from my point of view is the lack in the integration of social, environmental and economic aspects within the recycling industry. My goal is to develop a Resource management centre, which would incorporate all aspects of sustainability and ensure a cleaner environment for the future generations of Sri Lanka. The main objective of this resource management centre is to provide a place where local authorities and informal waste collectors could sell their waste and get an income. Mainly the resource management centre recycle HDPE, LDPE and PP plastics, through a plastic crusher machine, but buy and sell other recyclable waste while making contacts with other recyclers. This centre provides storage for all recyclable waste and will be sold once a bulk gets collected. In Sri Lanka, there is not such a place for resource management. As I see waste, segregation and storing play a key role in the waste management sector in Sri Lanka. Many local authorities have failed while managing such centre due to lack of private sector involvement and poor institutional frameworks. My idea hopes to generate jobs in the area, especially for women and vulnerable people. I aim to ensure that it will not only be a profit-oriented business but rather a business that possesses a strong responsibility for environmental protection.

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Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development

In Sri Lanka, more than eighty percent of waste is being mismanaged. They either open dump or open fire. The recycling industry has not received much attention in Sri Lanka by the public sector. Plastic recycling would lead to promoting circular economy and it gives a value to waste. Under these circumstances, people tend to collect more plastic which could potentially block the water channels or end up in open dumping lands or ultimately in the ocean. This would lead to cleaner and greener cities in Sri Lanka. Since the product of plastic recycling can be used to mix with virgin plastics, it contributes to reducing the use of virgin plastics. This would limit the use of fossil fuel which emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributes to another goal of sustainable development "Responsible consumption and production. This model will enable unskilled women to obtain jobs. Most of the recycling facilities would like to employ local men rather than women. By initiating a new facility, it could generate around 5-6 jobs for women and 2-3 jobs for men. With the development of the facility, this number will rise. Although recycling is considered a male-dominated occupation, we promote and encourage women involvement within a facility. It is because if we empower a woman it leads to the development of a whole family. We have identified some widows who are willing to works with us. Therefore, it contributes to poverty reduction and gender equality in Sri Lanka. To sustain a project or any idea there should be a perfect balance of social, environmental and economic components.

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Sustainability and future plans

If we crush around 20 tons per month our total income is 20 x 1000 x 85 = 1,700,000 LKR (9,445 USD) Unit price = 85 LKR cost for raw materials was 20 x 1000 x 55 = 1,100,000 LKR (6,111 USD) Unit cost = 55LKR Cost for electricity, labors and other expenditures are around 250,000LKR (1389 USD) NET PROFIT = 350,000 LKR (1944 USD) I can submit a detail business plan if requested. Agalawaththa local government is willing to provide me with the land required for the centre for a nominal fee. Western province waste management authority has already provided me with a small plastic crusher machine which has a capacity of crushing 600 kg per day. This machine is worth around 1,000,000 LKR (5,555 USD). I already applied for a loan scheme named enterprise Sri Lanka which is governed by the Ministry of finance through a bank named "Regional Development bank" It has an interest of 6.75%. It will be approved very soon. I expect to replicate this model in other areas of Sri Lanka and establish resource management centres.

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Your profile as an entrepreneur

I Graduated as a Bachelor of Science in Green Technology from the University of Ruhuna in 2016 with a 2nd class. During my higher studies, I developed an interest in waste management. After graduated, I was offered a job as a management trainee in Janathakshan Gte Ltd. After working for one year, I was promoted as an assistant manager for my hard work on the Municipal waste recycling program. The municipal waste recycling program is being executed in the western coast of Sri Lanka to reduce the use of plastics usage in supermarkets, hotels and the fishery harbour in order to prevent ocean pollution by plastics. During this project, I got the chance to develop my network with recyclers and collectors. Then I realized the main gaps in waste management of the plastic recycling industry. I was nominated to attend the Circular Economy conference in Germany, as I had a keen interest in plastic waste management. My goal is to become a successful businessperson in the waste management sector.

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May 16, 2019 17:31

Proud to see a Sri Lankan with such a powerful idea. I\'m happy to see the well managed plan over your task. You know well where and how your plan is usable. I like to admire your will to give your knowledge for the common world instead of using it only for your sake. Best of luck!