With the decision of the Environment Ministry to ban polythene and plastic lunch sheets and shopping bags, local manufacturers are keen to introduce new products made out of eco friendly and easily perishable materials.
As an alternative to this ban, various manufacturers are interested in introducing eco-friendly, chemical-free lunch sheets and shopping bags that will decompose quickly.
Accordingly, two young entrepreneurs in the country have come forward to produce eco-friendly lunch sheets and shopping bags using manioc (tapioca), a local edible yam that decomposes easily and quickly.
"Billions of lunch sheets and plastic and polythene shopping bags are being released into the environment, which have caused massive environmental damage in our country. The supermarket chain alone exceeds one billion and about 1.5 million lunch sheets are released into the environment every day," Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Overall, shopping bags and lunch wrapping sheets that people buy are not recyclable, but 99% of those bags purchased are disposed directly into the environment.
Therefore, the Minister instructed the Central Environmental Authority to take steps to encourage such eco-friendly products. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)