Polythene bag restriction in effect from next month

Dec 28, 2015 (LBO) – The ban restricting indiscriminate use of polythene bags at groceries and retail outlets in Sri Lanka will come into effect from January 1, 2016, according to the Department of Government Information.

“The legislation was brought in to combat the generous use of shopping bags and food wrappers in shopping malls and the home environment, resulting in its haphazard disposal polluting the environment,” the department said.

The use of polythene bags with less than 20 microns will be prohibited, and violators will be fined up to 10,000 rupees or face imprisonment, according to a Presidential directive.

The Gazette notification No. 1466/5 issued under section 23W of the National Environmental Act No. 47 of 1980 states that the use of polythene of less than 20 microns in thickness will be banned.

Though the law was not enforced, the regulation was brought into effect in January 2007 when the President was the Environment Minister.