Plastic waste in Mount Lavinia from Kelani River and canals

By Indika Sri Aravinda

Plastic waste found in Mount Lavinia recently was from the Kelani River and several canals, the Marine Environment Protection Authority said.

Marine Environment Protection Authority General Manager Dr. P.B. Terney Pradeep Kumara told Colombo Gazette plastic and other solid waste that had washed ashore at the Mount- Lavinia Beach last month were not disposed at the location of by any individuals.

Investigations have revealed that a large number of plastic and other solid waste have settled in the sea bed of the coastal belt extending from Colombo to Mount Lavinia.

Nearly 70% of plastic and other solid waste have been reported in the sea bed with 30% being washed ashore causing damage to various other marine life.

A rise in the use of plastic products during the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic has been cited as the main reason for the increase in plastic waste.

The disposing of plastic waste by the public in the Kelani River and canals in the Mattakkuliya, Wellawatte and the Dehiwela areas which drifted into the sea have been identified as the cause for such waste to wash ashore, Dr. Kumara explained.

He said the disposing of plastic waste will have a severe impact on marine life, development and expansion of fish species, and fishing activities.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority has urged the Government to suspend the use of plastic products and introduce alternative products to safeguard the coast and marine life off the coast of Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)