Polythene and plastic, items which had been an issue for everybody, have been done away with.
The law that bans the use of polythene will be imposed from September 1.
According to the Central Environmental Authority a 10,000-rupee fine and a two-year jail term will be imposed on a person found guilty of using polythene and plastic
According to the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) a 10,000-rupee fine and a two-year jail term will be imposed on a person found guilty of using polythene and plastic when the ban becomes legally effective from September.
It has been made known that the production, sale and use of polythene, falling under the category less than 20 microns, are subject to this ban.
CEA Chairman Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri told The Daily Mirror that the law banning polythene and plastic will be applicable to everyone.
We are in a firm position to put this law into effect irrespective of the circum stances. CEA as a responsible institute aspires to conserve the environment
“With the approval of the Cabinet to enforce the law on these items, the authority to nab and fine law breakers is vested with the Police,” Prof. Dharmasiri said.
It’s coherent that both the Government and the CEA are trying to eliminate the use of polythene which is commended by the public.
But what is important is how far the law will be enforced and whether wrong doers will be penalized.
Nevertheless, CEA Director of Waste Management Ajith Weerasundara said that they would grant concessions when expenses are inquired as Taxes and VAT during the importation of biodegradable raw material and manufacturing machinery.
We have requested the CEA to inform the Government to provide manufacturers with ample time to finish their stocks and after that to shift from High-density polyethylene to Low-density polyethylene
“We are in a firm position to put this law into effect irrespective of the circumstances. CEA as a responsible institute aspires to conserve the environment. For that, we need the assistance and co-operation of the general public,” Weerasundara said.
However, Chairman of All Ceylon Polythene Manufacturers and Recyclers Association (ACPMRA), Anura Wijethunga said that they are unable to adapt to the conditions imposed by the CEA and the Government until existing stocks of polythene are consumed.
“We have requested the CEA to inform the Government to provide manufacturers with ample time to finish their stocks and after that to shift from High-density polyethylene (HDPE) to Low-density polyethylene (LDPE),” Wijethunga said.
He further said that the manufacturing companies affiliated to their union had stopped the production of lunch sheets, but added that they would release lunch sheets which were remaining in the stock to the market. He went on to state that the responsibility regarding the other companies lay with the CEA.
With the approval of the Cabinet to enforce the law on these items, the authority to nab and fine law breakers is vested with the Police
Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri
“The law has been imposed too early and the alternatives aren’t effective. The Government should have discussed the matter with us earlier than this and taken a better approach to solve this issue.
We too are in a position to put an end to polythene use, but the manner in which the Government and the CEA have addressed the issue isn’t efficient nor fair. Therefore, we believe that the enforcement of the law will be abortive,” he added.
What the manufacturers are claiming is reasonable from their point of view. This is mainly because the time frame which has been provided to them to adapt to the new law is insufficient. Consideration must also be given to the fact that the manufacturers and their families depend on the revenue generated through the production of polythene and items related to it. The Government at this juncture should take productive and instant actions to address the issue.
It’s evident that most countries have banned the use of polythene totally, hence we should follow in their footsteps and adapted environmentally healthy usages.
Let’s strive to eradicate the use of polythene and get used to biologically degradable polythene.