Steps would be taken to ban the production of six types of plastic and polythene based products for local use with effect from tomorrow (31), the Ministry of Environment said.
Accordingly, disposable polythene and plastic, PET bottles (PolyEthylene Terephthalate), lunch sheets less than 20 microns, sachets (non-food and non-pharmaceutical), and inflatable toys will come under ban.
However, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said there would be no restrictions on the export of these products.
“The above mentioned items which are currently on sale in the shops can be sold till the end. No such sales outlets inspection will be conducted,” he said.
“However, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will conduct periodic factory inspections to determine whether they are manufactured for local use,” he added.
He also said considering the requests made by several companies, which have already manufactured the relevant products, a grace period of three months will be given to be marketed.
Minister Amaraweera said that the gazette notification in this regard has already been issued.
About 5.9 percent of urban solid waste collected daily is polythene and plastic. At least 400 tons of plastic and polythene are collected daily in the country.
The use of PET bottles is estimated to be around 1,250 tons per month. Of this, only 250 tons is recycled. When we look at the total plastic recycling in the country, it is about 15-20 percent of the total plastic waste.
The amount of plastic waste incinerated per day is 232 tons. At least 300,000 tons of plastic raw materials are imported into the country and a large quantity of finished goods are also imported. About 30 percent is re-exported as finished goods made from imported plastics while about 24 percent of total imports are recycled