For the love of the environment | Daily News


 

For the love of the environment

Sustainable biodegradable mesh covers

Protecting the environment and preserving it for the next generation is what Udaya Gunaratna and his partners do. Gunaratna, together with partners Shehan Corea and Priyadharshika Corea, Managing Director and Director of The Eco Biz Packaging, has been developing a sustainable packaging product that’s environment friendly and cost-effective

Speaking to the Daily News, Gunaratna who was mulling over the idea for almost two years, said he had decided to implement the innovation during the Covid-19 lockdown. “I had researched this for almost two years and decided it’s about time to let it out to the world. I called it ‘sustainable packing’,” he said.

Running through the packaging products made out of partly recycled paper, Gunaratna together with his team has spent days not only on packaging for food, vegetables and fruits, but also for other goods like ceramic plates, glassware and other breakable items.

Udaya Gunaratne

“The current packaging of lots of these items causes harm to the environment. The chemicals that are used to make polythene are harmful and after one use, polythene is discarded. Sustainable packaging doesn’t have all these negative attributes. It is made out of recycled paper and can be reused again. Besides, the packing perfectly fits whatever it is used for. I am a lover of the environment, and now more than ever I feel the environment needs a lot of attention,” Gunaratna explained.

It was not easy for Gunaratna, as many were dismayed by the idea at initial stages, and he had to find partners to support the venture financially on a long-term basis. That’s when he met Shehan and Priyadharshika Corea, the duo behind Eco Biz Packaging, who already had a packaging company that provides packaging for leading brands. The Daily News posed the following questions to Gunaratna:

What does biodegradable sustainable packing do?

One, it’s environmentally-friendly. I invented this keeping in mind the environment. Two, it absorbs the moisture but takes to any shape or size of the fruit or vegetable, holding it without letting it slip. It was only last week that the product had obtained the patent rights for the design, which is stretchable and biodegradable.

What are the benefits?

This saves trees, water and electricity. The packaging is not made out of 100 percent virgin paper, and cannot be found in Sri Lanka as I have innovated it. I have received more 6,000 orders from various fruit and vegetable suppliers. I am happy that in a small way, the change is happening and as time goes on, it will catch on.

Any other related benefits for the economy?

This project can provide job opportunities to many, as a lot of companies locally and abroad are moving out of plastic, rigifoam and polythene. Those at home and retired persons can do this on a part-time basis, as the demand will increase in the coming days.

Gunaratna had joined the business sector at a young age, after engaging in various fields. “I am an inventor and I want this product to reach recognition, and I seek assistance from the public and the government to market the product locally and globally.

We are hoping to get recycled paper from a local mill in Valaichchenai, rather than importing it. This will create opportunities for the locals. This biodegradable mesh cover can be a benefit in many ways to the export and import sectors.”

 


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