With no effective and efficient waste collection and disposal infrastructure operational in Sri Lanka, ecosystems around the island are being degraded.
For example, a 2017 trash-slide in Colombo killed 24 individuals. Images of elephants consuming trash in an illegal trash dump adjacent to a national park and plastic debris washing up on beaches are some of the negative stories that have appeared in the local and international media.
Considering Sri Lanka is marketing itself as a wildlife and adventure tourism destination with pristine beaches and waters, and a healthy wildlife population seen nowhere else on earth, it is critical that the government and local communities ensure that waste is disposed of in a responsible manner, and a reduction of its consumption encouraged or even legislated. With no infrastructure in place to cater to the amount of waste already generated by local populations, when we include the envisaged increase of tourists visiting the island, the situation can only be expected to worsen. LEF has identified several organizations working around the island including in the fields of:
- plastic collection and segregation
- community capacity building
- education and awareness-raising
- community engagement through beach clean-ups and mobilizations.