CEA gets tough on errant industries
A survey carried out by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) has
revealed that there are 6,980 industries in the Western Province
operating without obtaining Environmental Protection Licences (EPL)
which is a legal requirement.
This study was carried out by the CEA Research and Special Project
Unit. CEA Chairman Charitha Herath said the CEA will take legal action
against the industrialists who continue to violate the provisions of the
National Environmental Act (NEA).
“This is a serious situation from the environmental perspective
during a period when sustainable development is been highlighted in the
country. Detrimental impacts on the environment created by different
waste types discharged from various industrial activities have created a
problematic situation,” CEA Chairman Charitha Herath said.
The CEA has categorized all industries in the country as small scale,
medium scale and large scale based on their capacity as well as their
The survey has identified the industries that have taken EPLs while
functioning in accordance with CEA standards as well as environmentally
unfriendly industries that do not have the required EPLs.
In addition to that the study has revealed the magnitudes of impacts
of various industries in line with their operations.
Herath said that it is important for the industrial community to
contribute to sustainable development of Sri Lanka when the country is
in an accelerated development process after the war victory. Development
without environmental concerns is a concept which has been rejected by
The Central Environmental Authority is the national institution that
has the legal authority for environmental enforcement in the country.
The Legal Unit of the CEA is taking action to prosecute industrialists
who have not obtained Environmental Protection Licences up to now. More
than 100 cases have been filed in courts against industries operating
without EPLs in 2010 and 200 such cases have been filed during the year
This prosecution procedure has resulted in a number of payments of
fines, closure of industries and integrating into the EPL procedure.
Herath said the CEA will take legal action against environmentally
unfriendly industries not complying with the provisions of the National
Taiwan turns plastic junk to ‘green’ gold
The mountains of used plastic bottles at a recycling station in
Taipei emit a faint smell of garbage dump, but soon they will be turned
into wigs and clothes that people will wear.
From fake hair to football jerseys and building bricks, Taiwan is
breathing new life into its massive plastics waste, creating a booming
new business at the same time as it aims to go green.
The island started recycling plastic more than a decade ago amid
growing environmental concerns, and today it boasts about 73 percent
recycling rates, according to the cabinet’s Environmental Protection
Last year, nearly 180,000 tonnes of used plastic were collected and
turned into raw materials worth 4.5 billion Taiwan dollars (140 million
US), which cut down garbage disposal costs and carbon dioxide emissions,
“Recycled plastics can be made into many products such as garments,
flower pots, wigs and zippers,” said Ma Nien-ho, a spokesman for the
administration’s recycling fund management board.
“We are not only protecting the environment but also making money,”
Taiwan took pride in the so-called “eco-fabric” that was used by
local companies to make the jerseys for nine teams competing in the
recent football World Cup in South Africa.
Each jersey, made from eight plastic bottles melted and processed
into polyester, is 13 percent lighter than traditional fabric and can
absorb and disperse sweat more quickly, according to Taiwan Textile
Research Institute. “The production process is also more environmentally
friendly as it takes less water and energy to dye the shirts when using
coloured bottles,” said Alex Lo, managing director of Super Textile
Super Textile, a leading Taiwanese maker of eco-fabric, started
exporting to the United States and Japan in recent years, which gave a
boost of up to 10 percent to its business, Lo said.
“The response has been much warmer in the past two years due to
rising awareness on global warming and fluctuating cotton prices,” Lo
“We are optimistic that the World Cup publicity will help stir up
Taiwan, a small island that consumes about 4.5 billion plastic
bottles annually, is seen as having an advantage in manufacturing
eco-textiles through lower transportation and recycling costs.
Tzu Chi Foundation, one of the island’s largest charity groups, runs
4,500 recycling stations across Taiwan with the help of about 70,000
volunteers who collected 12,000 tonnes of used bottles last year. The
foundation has distributed more than 300,000 blankets made from plastic
bottles since 2007 for relief uses at home and abroad, it said.
And perhaps in the near future houses built from recycled plastic
bottles will mushroom across the island after “Eco Ark”, the world’s
first such building, is unveiled in November.
“Eco Ark” — a three-storey 24-metre (78-feet) high exhibition hall
due to debut at the Taipei International Floral Exposition, is built
from 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles and cost 300 million Taiwan
“The bottles are processed to make bricks that can resist
earthquakes, wind and fire while providing the building with natural
lighting to save electricity,” said its architect Arthur Huang.
“The ‘polli-bricks’ are also less expensive than conventional
materials like wood and glass so the construction cost is much lower.”
Huang said his firm is currently building a luxury boutique hotel and
several factories and corporate buildings with the bricks.
“Just imagine if we can replace all the steel roofs in the buildings
in Taipei with light transparent polli-bricks. That would make the city
look more beautiful,”Huang said.