In an effort to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability, the “Plastic Free OUSL” Program was held on 23rd of February 2023 at the Open University of Sri Lanka. The event was organized by the university’s Green Committee in collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development. The aim of the program was to raise awareness about the negative impact of plastic on the environment and encourage participants to adopt more eco-friendly habits.

The program included a variety of activities, including a talk on the harmful effects of plastic on the environment by renowned scientist Prof. Meththika Vithanage from University of Sri Jayewardenepura, a talk on how to manage the plastic waste by Mrs. Sarojini Jayasekara from Central Environmental Authority as well as the event featured descriptive videos on the harmful effects of plastic on the environment and managing the plastic waste. Further the PHI, OUSL Mr. W.S.M.C. Pushpakumara apprised the university community regarding the initiatives adopted in the OUSL premises to reduce plastic usage and to make a green and sustainable university.  Finally, the event was wrapped up with a shramadana campaign to collect plastic waste and clean the university premises.

The academic staff, nonacademic staff as well as the students alike were enthusiastic about the program and participated eagerly. The “Plastic Free OUSL” Program also highlighted the university’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and greening the university. In recent years, the university has implemented several initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, including introducing bicycle lanes, implementing green policies, and reducing single-use plastics/polythene by banning lunch sheet and introducing use of lunch boxes to fetch food from canteen as well as from home.

Overall, the “Plastic Free OUSL” Program was a resounding success, drawing attention to the issue of plastic waste and inspiring participants to take action to reduce their own consumption. As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, events like these offer hope that positive change is possible, one step at a time.