The Ministry of Environment (MoE), Sri Lanka developed the National Action Plan on Plastic Waste Management (NAPPWM) 2021-2030 with technical assistance from the IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET), and the United Nations Environment Programme International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), with financial support from the Ministry of Environment, Japan (MOEJ). As part of its local application and adaptation, the Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka organized the “Launching of the NPWMAP with National Training Workshop on Plastic Waste Management” on 25 and 26 August 2021. The training sessions included i) Plastic Waste Measurement, Hotspots and Monitoring, ii) Development of City Action Plans and iii) Discussions on Key Policies and Regulations in Plastic Waste Management.
A number of participants shared their views about the NAPPWM, as well as ongoing activities, plans and interests in assisting the Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka in its implementation on the ground. They included Dr. Jasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka; Mr. Onogawa, Senior Fellow, IGES; Dr. Honda, Programme Officer, UNEP-IETC; Mr. Werahera, Director, EPC-CM, Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka; Dr. Premakumara, Director, CCET; Ms. Fernando, Assistant Director, EPC-EM, Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka; and several international and development partners including SACEP, WB, JICA, UNDP, USAID, The Asia Foundation, IUCN, and GIZ.
Following the launching event, the first training session focused on Plastic Waste Measurement, Hotspots, and Monitoring and was moderated by Professor Alwis, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa. The session secretariat was Dr. Singh, Policy Researcher at CCET and the speakers were Ms. Hayashi, Programme Manager, CCET; Dr. Moinuddin, Deputy Director, Integrated Sustainability Centre, IGES; and Mr. Abenayaka, Research Engineer, Prika, Japan.
On 26 August, the second training session on the Development of City Action Plans was moderated by Dr. Anurudda, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, with Dr. Singh, Policy Researcher at CCET as the session secretariat. The presenters were Ms. Salem, Economic Affairs Officer, Circular Economy, ESCAP; Mr. Drouin, Program Officer, CityNet Secretariat; Mr. Vincent, Representative, Quezon City, Philippines; Ms. Fernando, Commissioner, NMC; Mr. Welivitiya, Chairman, HELP-O; and Ms. Goonasekara, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities, Sri Lanka.
The third and last session on Key Policies and Regulations in Plastic Waste Management was moderated by Ms. Fernando, Assistant Director, EPC-EM, Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka, where the speakers were Mr. Vithanage, Chair of Friends of the Earth International Amsterdam; Mr. Mannapperuma, Director, SWMA-WP; Ms. Tatsuno, Program Coordinator, CCET; Mr. Madurasinghe, Regional Lead-Public Affairs, Coca Cola; Mr. Udawatta, CEO, Eco-Spindles; and Mr. Konzok, Director, Lanka Upcycles. All of the training sessions had assessment exercises led by Mr. Moonamale, Consultant, HELP-O.
The launch and national training workshop successfully examined areas for addressing plastic pollution and monitoring plastic leakage to the environment. The CCET-IGES Tracker and its uses to measure plastic pollution were also introduced. A discussion took place about the importance of the National Action Plan on Plastic Waste and its implementation at the local level, followed by the sharing of several case studies on effective plastic waste management. In so doing, the workshop helped generate awareness on proper plastic waste management through measuring and monitoring mechanisms for plastic pollution and leakage to the environment. The workshop also highlighted ongoing areas of concern related to plastic waste management in Sri Lanka and underscored challenges for addressing these gaps such as lack of available data, capacity constraints, and the need for technical assistance to effectively quantify and monitor plastic pollution in the city action plans. A total of more than 500 participants joined this two-day event.