Sri Lanka retail chains to charge customers for plastic bags

July 29, 2008 (LBO) – A group of Sri Lankan retail chains will start charging customers for shopping bags from August 01, as part of a campaign with the island’s environment protection office to cut plastic waste, a top retail chain said. Retail chains will also have cardboard boxes.

Plastic bags which do not degrade early tend to remain in landfills for decades. “One of the objectives of the National Policy on Solid Waste Management in Sri Lanka is to ensure the environmental accountability and social responsibility of all waste generators, waste managers and service providers,” Udaya Gammanpila, chairman of Sri Lanka’s Central Environmental Authority was quoted as saying in a statement sent by retailers.

“I sincerely hope that other entrepreneurs in the trade, too, would follow in the footsteps of these leading supermarkets.”

Arpico Supercentre, Cargills Food City, Keells Super, Laugfs SunUp and Magna will start charging prices ranging from 2.00 rupees to 5.00 depending on the size of the plastic bags from August 01.

The retail chains says ‘environmentally friendly’ alternatives in the form of re-usable bags are being offered to customers. Arpico Supercentre offers a blue bag, Cargills food city a green bag and Keell