Colombo, July 12 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne on Wednesday announced that it would be banning polythene, Styrofoam and shopping bags whilst the island is facing a dengue epidemic and garbage crisis.
Following a proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena who is the Minister of Environment, the cabinet approved to ban the use of polythene and Styrofoam which is used by local shops to wrap lunch and polythene shopping bags which is widely used in supermarkets and shops, with immediate effect.
The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) also stated that the use, production, import and sale of lunch sheets would be banned under the new regulation.
The CEA added that the burning of plastic and polythene in open areas was also prohibited, from Wednesday.
Shopping bags will be replaced with reusable cloth bags under the new law, the CEA said.
Local media reports said the new law was introduced in an effort to reduce environmental damage brought about by the use of non biodegradable plastic and polythene items.
Sri Lanka has been facing a garbage crisis after a central garbage dump collapsed in April, killing over 30 people and burying an entire neighbourhood.
Local residents have complained that piles of garbage have been left uncollected in the capital and in the outskirts with the government vowing that it would clean up Colombo and its outskirts soon.
Sri Lanka is also facing its worst ever dengue epidemic with over 225 patients killed and over 80,000 infected.