Import of several plastic items to be banned

By Indika Sri Aravinda

The Government is to ban the import of several plastic items, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

The Minister told Colombo Gazette the decision to ban the items was taken following a discussion held with the relevant officials.

He said that among the items to be banned are plastic plates, plastic cutlery and several other items.

Amaraweera said the import of certain aluminium products and polythene products will also be banned.

He said that most of the items are imported from China, India, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Environment Minister said the decision to ban the import of these items will be communicated to the cabinet.

Director General of the Central Environmental Authority Hemantha Jayasinghe had told the Colombo Gazette recently that plastic sachet packets, plastic straws, plastic bottles and plastic plates are harmful to the environment.

He said that steps will be taken to phase-out the production and import of such products.

Jayasinghe said that it takes approximately 200-300 years for plastic to completely disintegrate.

The Central Environmental Authority will promote the use of paper straws and paper plates and glass bottles in future. (Colombo Gazette)