Out of the box packaging
Rivindu Perera
12 සැප්තැම්බර් 2019

You may have visited a local supermarket or local grocery store to buy a tube of toothpaste. With that tube comes a vibrant plastic or paper box and a polythene bag. Think for a moment: do you need them? If it was not a necessity, then why did you receive this packaging in the first place?

Colombo, as a developing city in the globe, has encountered issues when it comes to waste management. The impact that growing waste has on the environment and climate is no secret. It was reported that Sri Lanka ranked 5th in the list of countries which releases plastics and polythene to the ocean. Intolerable masses of waste of all kinds are created every day, with less action taken, it will continue to have negative effects. While trying to manage the piling up waste, one key reasons for the gathering of waste – wastage, is something that we often overlook.

Non degradable materials such as polystyrene and plastic wrapping is often seen being used to wrap fruits and vegetables

Hotels in Colombo and other parts of the Island provide a brilliant service to satisfy its patrons. Even the tiny toothpick used to clean your teeth sometimes comes in a sealed polythene pack. Ironically, the paper straw, which is said to be eco-friendly, comes in a sealed polythene cover. We just need the straw, not the packaging. Most of the time this is done for hygienic reasons. However, there can be a better alternative to this form of sterilization.

If the only reason where similar packaging is used is because it looks good, it looks standard, or it looks fashionable; this we should change. This is where individuals must stand up. Saying NO to unwanted packaging is the easiest path to reduce unnecessary consumption and usage.

The best and timely example is Iceland: where change in consumer behavior has changed businesses to adapt more sustainable practices. As a community they stopped using toothpaste coming with packaging of plastic boxes, which came to the point where companies could not resist. They adopted the new change. Now toothpastes in Iceland aren’t coming with colorful boxes of packaging, which ultimately resulted in environmental gain as well as economical gain.
Think of other goods and services with similar unwanted packaging made of plastic, paper and polythene as well. The list is long, but we must make sure that the list doesn’t grow.

To tackle big issues, a beginning with a small step will eventually lead to viable solutions and positive outcomes. Why can’t we say NO to the unwanted package? Why create your own waste? The future is ours and the actions we take right now will make an impact in future.

Rivindu Perera
12 සැප්තැම්බර් 2019
Rivindu Perera is a young writer currently studying for his Advanced Level Examinations at Ananda College Colombo. He is passionate about creating social change that will bring about sustainable practices.

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