The blue hue seen in the packaging of potable drinking water (PET) bottles would be changed to transparent to help consumers see the water they were about to consume, Environment Deputy Minister Ajith Mannapperuma said yesterday.
He was addressing an awareness workshop for teachers and principals in charge of the Gampaha District Environmental Pilot team at the Nittambuwa Teacher Training Centre.
The Minister said that a transparent PET water bottle should not be reused.
The colour of potable PET water bottles have been changed to attract customers, he said.
“Plastic water bottles cannot be recycled. We will make it a policy to suspend the manufacture of PET water bottles that are blue colour in the future,” the Deputy Minister said.
"Five parts of a bottle including the lid, the bottle, the label, the plastic seal around the lid and the plastic parts used to seal the lid are dumped in the garbage or thrown on the roadside," he said.
Plastic bottle manufacturers were given a week to inform the ministry about their existing stocks of bottles which they needed to finish before manufacturing the next batch according to the new guidelines, Minister Mannapperuma said.
Approximately one million plastic bottles are consumed per day, which means a million plastic seal wrappers that go around the lid are released into the environment, he said.“Those parts take 200 to 300 years to degrade. These parts make their way into the sea too, thereby polluting the seas as well," he said.
“Broom bristles and thread used for clothes are the only things that could be made after recycling plastic water bottles. Therefore, we have started to launch a pilot project with the help of environmental teams,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)