To dispose empty pens and toothbrushes: Environment Ministry Introduces Special Container
By Thameenah Razeek
In the backdrop of the amount of empty carbon pens being dumped into the environment by the school system per year exceeding 29,000 kilogrammes, the Ministry of Environment has introduced a special container to be kept in every school, to dispose empty pens and toothbrushes, which can hold 2,000 pens and 500 toothbrushes.
This first container will be handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 26 October, under the programme initiated targeting children to build an eco-friendly environment in schools. The inaugural ceremony of this programme is scheduled to commence from the Dikwella Vijitha Central College.
Minister of Environment, Mahinda Amaraweera, said this is the first time in the country that a programme has been initiated to recycle discarded pen cases and toothbrushes, adding that a Cabinet Paper will be submitted to make it mandatory for all public and private sector institutions to implement this programme.
He reiterated that the average daily disposal of empty carbon pens in the school system alone is about 80 kilogrammes. However, no census has been conducted on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted daily by public and private institutions as well as by those in other sectors.
“Environmentalists point out that it usually takes 100-500 years for pens and toothbrushes to decompose,” he said.