The use of plastic products and polythene is an essential component in today’s society. As a result, many social, environmental, health and economic issues have arisen due to the improper use, disposal and burning of plastic and polythene products.
Internationally, many countries have banned the usage of polythene considering the problems encounter with these products and have moved to biodegradable products. It has been reported that the usage of polythene per day by one person is 0.5 kg in Sri Lanka. Also, nearly 20 million of lunch sheets and 15 million of shopping bags are used per day.
Considering this situation the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), under the guidance of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment implemented an action plan to control the usage of polythene. Accordingly, several gazette notifications 2034/33, 2034/34, 2034/35, 2034/36, 2034/37 and 2034/38 were introduced on 1st September 2017.
Based on those regulations CEA planned to conduct 10,000 raiding programs in the year 2018 covering the whole country. Accordingly the CEA with the aid of the regional offices and the Sri Lanka Police has conducted 10327 raids during 2018. Further, 103% progress has been shown in the raid program. Legal actions have been taken against nearly 500 illegal manufacturers, traders and users.
In order complete the mission the CEA continues with raiding programs while introducing the alternative products for the polythene and plastic.