The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has decided to ban the use of plastic garlands during Poojas at the Kataragama, Bellanwila, Pillewa, Kelaniya, Ratnapura and Navagamuwa Devalas and substitute them with garlands made of oil papers and degradable material, an official said.
However, the CEA has recommended the use of clothing material and natural flowers to make items of offerings.
CEA Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe said yesterday that the use of plastic garlands would be banned after introducing the environmental friendly garlands on March 22. He said the plastic garlands removed from places of worship had been causing extensive environmental damage to rivers, canals and water sources.
The CEA official said workshops for garland makers were held in several sacred cities with the help of the National Crafts Council to train them on switching to the use of degradable material. (REKA THARANGANI)