The use of plastic and polythene cannot be completely eliminated, but it can be done by implementing certain programmes to reduce their use, such as 3R stands, Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe said.
He said the subject Minister Mahinda Amaraweera is to present several cabinet papers proscribing a number of non-essential but alternative polythene and plastic products.
According to Dr. Jasinghe, the Ministry is currently working on the 3R concept, which stands for Reducing-Recycling- Reusing. This allows us to minimize the use of plastic and polythene, he said.
Accordingly, a gazette notification has been issued to ban five types of polythene and plastic-based products.
"We have given a grace period of three months to sell products manufactured by those companies. But we are not prepared to give such concessions over and over again. Certain plastics and polythene-based products, such as string hopper racks, are still available in the market. These racks have been produced long time ago using natural ingredients. When the string hoppers are boiled, these plastic string hopper racks also boil. They are highly toxic. They are getting added to food. But people do not accept this. "Either do the wrong method with knowledge," Dr. Jasinghe explained.
Therefore, the Ministry decided to prohibit such substances without a second thought. This decision was made with the environment and our country's human health in mind, according to Dr. Jasinghe. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)