Polythene ban off for three months
The ban on polythene material of less than 20 microns has been
suspended for three months following a request by polythene
manufacturers and consumers, Minister of Mahaweli Development and
Environment Maithripala Sirisena told the Sunday Observer.
The ban will come into force automatically after three months. Under
this law polythene material including shopping bags and lunch sheets
less than 20 microns will be banned. Under the new laws manufacturers,
sellers and users of such items will be prosecuted. Those convicted will
be sentenced to two years' imprisonment and fined Rs. 10,000 or both.
The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has set up a flying squad
to check polythene factories to prevent the manufacture of banned items
and the police are also empowered to prosecute offenders. The CEA has
also initiated long term plans to enforce the complete ban on all
polythene products within the next three years.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Research Institute has introduced lunch
sheets and shopping bags made out of coir extract from plantain trees.
The Small Industries Department (SID) has made arrangements to
popularise this as an industry on an islandwide basis.