Municipal Solid Waste Management is a burning issue in the Country due to hap-hazard disposal/ dumping of municipal mixed waste. Polythene related products like shopping bags and lunch sheets create huge environmental consequences by blocking drainage system (cause flash floods) and providing breeding grounds for vector borne diseases as Dengue. Therefore Central Environmental Authority has decided to ban selected polythene and polystyrene based products to enhance the prop management of polythene and plastic in Sri Lank.
According to the Cabinet Paper No.1466/5 on 10th October 2006 manufacturing, trading and usage of selected polythene products with HDPE ( Lunch Sheets, Shopping bags and Grocery bags) and polystyrene regiform (sDisposable lunch box) have been banned with effect from 01.09.2017
The Press conference on this regards was held on 12th July 2017 with the patronage of Hon. Anuradha Jayarathne Deputy Minister, Mahaweli Development and Environment at the CEA Auditorium. At the conference, Deputy Minister stressed that manufacturing, trading and using of lunch sheet, lunch box, shopping bags, grocery bags and garbage bags prohibited from 1st of September 2017, and have given a short period of time for the general public to use alternate products as substitutions.
Addressing the gathering Prof. Dharmasiri, Chairman CEA expressed the harmfulness of using lunch sheets which are used as food wrappers. And also he has given prior attention that, the diseases like Dengue have been increased epidemic level due to poor management of polythene waste. Mr. Ajith Weerasundara, Director Waste Management, CEA, emphasized the importance of the introduction of biodegradable polythene products to the market as well as the alternatives as oil papers, banana leaves and clothing bags etc.
Although 20 microns regulation is still enforced to the other non banned polythene products. Similarly the existing regulation on the banning of the manufacturing, trading and usage of thin polythene with the thickness less than 20 microns is still remain.