Sri Lanka to manage use of polythene, polystyrene

July 13, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government has decided to manage the use of polythene with the intention of minimizing its environmental impact from September this year.

The cabinet has approved a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to implement short term, medium term and long term activities recommended by a committee of intellectuals appointed in this regard.

Short term measures
• Prohibition of polythene use for decorations in all events
• Implement the prevailing regulations for prohibition of use, sale and production of polythene equals or less than 20 microns.
• Allow use of polythene less than 20 microns for essential activities only on the approval of Central Environmental Authority
• Prohibition of sale, importation and production of lunch sheets
• Prohibition of sale, importation and production of containers, plates, cups, spoons made using polystyrene
• Prohibition of sale of processed or cooked meals packed in polythene containers
• Promotion of providing paper, cloth or reed bags or biologically degradable plastics for customers when purchasing items in stores
• Prohibition of burning polythene and plastic in open places
• introduction and promotion of biologically degradable polythene and plastics

Midterm measures
• Provision of tax concessions in importation of machinery used in biologically degradable plastic productions
• Imposing a cess tax of 15% on importation of plastic row material and goods

Long term measures
• Completely prohibition of recycled plastic products