Use Of Polythene, Rigifoam, Shopping Bags Banned
Central Environment Authority (CEA) has banned the use of polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam boxes and shopping bags, with effect from 1st of September.
In a bid to make Sri Lanka polythene-free and find a sustainable solution to solid waste management, President Maithripala Sirisena has announced a number of measures including the ban on the import, manufacture and sale of lunch sheets and a ban on the use of polythene for decorations.
Cabinet approval was granted on Tuesday for a series of measures proposed by the President in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment to gradually end the use of polythene and thus minimize its environmental impact.While banning polythene use for decorations the manufacture, sale and use of polythene of 20 microns or less for essential activities on the approval of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA).
The short term measures also include the ban on the manufacture, import or sale of containers, plates, cups, spoons made of polystyrene, the ban on the sale of processed or cooked meals packed in polythene containers and the promotion of paper, cloth or reed bags or biologically degradable plastics for customers when purchasing items in stores, prohibition of burning polythene and plastic in open places introduction and promotion of biologically degradable polythene and plastics.
Tax concessions would be provided to import machinery for the manufacture of biologically degradable plastic and a cess tax of 15% on the import of plastic raw material and goods. In the long term the use of recycled plastic products would be banned.
Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told the reporters at the weekly cabinet news briefing yesterday that the short term measures will be effective from Tuesday after the proposals were approved by the Cabinet.
The long and medium term measures need legislative approval for their implementation and therefore it takes time.Responding to a journalist, he said people would go back to good old habits of using perishable lunch wrappers and food containers when the ban of polythene was in place.
Source :Sandun Jayasekara, Daily Mirror