News

Green transformation for booze biz

  • Collect and recycle system for quarter bottles

By Sarah Hannan

The Minister of Environment last week announced the Ministry’s consideration to ban liquor bottles with the capacity of 180 ml (quarter) as it is identified as a big source of pollution.

According to a survey carried out for the year 2019 by the Ministry and its institutes, a staggering 300 million quarter liquor bottles had been purchased in 2019 from liquor shops.

“These bottles, either made of glass or plastic, get tossed to the roadside drain after the consumer empties it. At times, not that far away from the liquor store itself. None of the distillers have a collection process, which means these discarded bottles are not recycled,” Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera told The Morning.

During a meeting with the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Amaraweera had suggested that a taxing methodology be introduced under the “polluter pays” principle to ensure that companies now look at a way to collect and recycle empty glass and plastic bottles.

A new system is also to be introduced to encourage consumers to return empty bottles instead of discarding them on the roadside. Liquor companies are also requested to introduce an attractive bottle-deposit fee for every empty 180 ml alcohol bottle returned to any liquor outlet.