SriLankan wins global award for recycling project

SriLankan Airlines became the first airline in the world to receive a global award for its recycling project where scrap material from the airline was used to create a variety of lifestyle products.

These efforts were rewarded when ‘Project Mathaka’ won the Best Aviation Sustainability Program Award at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (SMBR) Global Aviation Awards, beating 118 other submissions recently.

“This initiative helps us to save Rs. 500,000 annually which is used to discard waste and reused material,’’ said Capt. Anushad Liyanagoda of SriLankan Airlines. “Prior to the launch of ‘Mathaka’, this waste ended in landfills, costing the airline millions in disposal costs and significantly more pollution to the environment. It also helps to save a sizable amount spent annually on the purchase of corporate gifts.”

“The concept behind ‘Mathaka’ is to artistically fashion fragments of people’s memories of air travel into the tangible. Project ‘Mathaka’ accomplishes this by repurposing remnants of yesterday’s onboard product to create entirely new products, allowing Sri Lanka to “take its planet-friendly corporate philosophy to a new level.

“SriLankan has been binning waste material such as unusable aircraft seat covers, blankets, uniforms, and other items originating from the aircraft and process of flying to the tune of 16 tons each year.

“Project ‘Mathaka’ is one of several initiatives undertaken by the airline’s Environmental Affairs and Sustainability team to support the environment in measured and impactful ways.

The only way to combat climate change is to work with like-minded partners and be a part of the solution,” he said.

Founder and CEO of the House of Lonali, Lonali Rodrigo told Sunday Observer  business, “To bring the project  to life, SriLankan AirLines collaborated with House of Lonali. House of Lonali is a local, conscious lifestyle brand that designs and manufactures upcycled lifestyle products. Under the ‘Mathaka’ brand, an exclusive range of products and accessories, including travel bags, wallets, books, key tags, photo frames, and jewellery, will be developed collaboratively.

 “Mathaka products will be introduced for sale onboard Sri Lankan Airlines’ flights and through the website and retail partners of House of Lonali. SriLankan Airlines will empower women from low-income communities to earn a living and support their families through the House of Lonali,” she said.