Responding to the Cabinet’s approval of banning the production, sale and use of lunch-sheets, polythene and Styrofoam/Rigifoam, the Colombo Municipality (CMC) yesterday said the move would reduce at least one third of the waste collected in the city.
The CMC Waste Management Director Ms. Yogarani Sylvester speaking to the Daily Mirror said the ban would be the only solution to tackle the non-recyclable waste collected within the city.
“Lunch sheets are not things that we can recycle nor are they degradable. Most of these lunch sheets and Styrofoam/ boxes in which lunch is sold are soiled so they can’t be reused. This is a major problem as we can’t do anything with them,” she said.
While the move does not mean the garbage problem in the city would be completely resolved it would have a significant impact on the garbage in the city. “People will start to reuse what they have, which is a significant decrease in the amount of garbage that is collected as we come back with at least 20 polythene bags when we go to the super market when we can just use two,” Ms. Sylvester stated.
The proposal by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will see the ban of lunch sheets, polythene and Styrofoam banned from September with authorities expected to introduce and promote degradable polythene and bags to the public.
The media also reported that the import and production of lunch sheets, containers, plates, cups and spoons made of polythene and the sale of cooked meals in polythene containers and the burning of plastic in open areas will be prohibited.
Authorities will also take measures to introduce and provide paper, cloth, reed bags or bio-degradable plastic.
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. (Sandun Jayasekara)
SL Monday, 17 July 2017 18:53
Food city and Keels supper are to be blamed for polythyne fassion among supper markets.There shall be measure to zeroing the polythene bags coming out from supper markets. these hi-fi supper markets distribute polythene bags even for a single soap bar they sell. Gvt shall discipline these market shops and buyers as well.
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Kadiya Wednesday, 19 July 2017 08:32
In that case treat fire also as a curse. Polythene is a good thing but the way people handle is not good enough. Why don't we eat the lunch packet paper as well without throwing it away for animals to eat and die????
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