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Thousands of H&M labels found in Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve

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Who is to blame?

Thousands of H&M labels were found in the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve. It has the auxiliary dual-use of the Wild Elephant Corridor. That is under the authorization, management and authority of the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation, declared and gazetted Protected area (PA).

We were told that rubbish was thrown away along the length of the Wild Elephant Corridor because there is a parallel road crossing the Wild Elephant Corridor. Our majestic giant is consuming the rubbish and is sick due to plastic consumption. Another problem is that elephants consume high-sugar food/junk and suffer from diabetes.

To our surprise, we found the H&M label under the tree. That is about 50m from the road to the forest. In fact, some tags are buried, but there are many tags on the surface that attract our attention.

Label dumpers not found yet

An official from Canada’s “Action Now” organization said that the authorities could not find the suspect who dropped the clothing tag on an elephant corridor in the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve.

The official said that thousands of discarded H&M clothing tags were found in the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve. Currently, various business organizations and travelers are using them as garbage dumps along the road to Wellawaya.

“Even if the label tagged as being made in Sri Lanka, we haven’t yet found out who is behind this as we are unable to find a local manufacturer using the H&M clothing brand, who is responsible for this. We questioned several persons and organisations regarding this but all refused to comment saying they have no idea about this.”

She said that the reserve used as an elephant corridor and declared a protected area in 2007 through the Unofficial Bulletin 1514/25. The protected area is under the responsibility of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), which is now aware of this. Illegal dump in a nature reserve.

She added that after different organizations in the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve gave tips on garbage dumps and environmental pollution, CAN and volunteers carried out a cleaning plan under the permission of DWC to remove the garbage in the area.

During the cleaning process, it has discovered that a clothing manufacturer had thrown many unused clothing labels under a large tree, which was about 50 meters away from the main road and entered the forest. She said that some tags were buried, while others were buried on the ground. These tags were dumped along with non-recyclable waste.

She asked the relevant authorities to conduct special investigations to prevent such dumping in nature reserves. She also urged the authorities to take necessary actions to save wild animals and plants, because these unethical actions by manufacturers will pollute the surrounding environment.

How much harm is there?

Materials such as cotton, hemp or synthetic fibers and semi-synthetic fibers are derived from plant sources or cellulose. Rayon is a type of man-made fiber. It is made by dissolving plant cellulose in a dissolved form. Therefore, they can emit natural food waste, such as gas, when they degrade.

However, unlike food, even if these materials are obtained and manufactured from natural materials, they will not decompose. Since the production of fabrics involves a variety of artificial or unnatural processes. Such as bleaching, dyeing and chemical soaking, these unnatural ingredients often find their way to underground water sources. Especially when they are buried. Burning these materials is not an option, because it releases toxins into the air.

Man-made synthetic fibers such as acrylic, polyester, nylon and spandex or lycra. They have the same effect and are usually bad for the earth. Essentially, synthetic fibers are plastics that are chemically unstable and degrade as they age, thereby releasing harmful toxins into the environment again.

If garments made from these fabrics find a way to landfill, they will take years or even years to decompose. This is because they are made with chemicals and therefore are not biodegradable.

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