Government decides to ban single use plastic and polythene from January

The Government has decided to ban single use plastic and polythene from 1st January 2021.

The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting held yesterday, the Government announced today.

The Government had in 2017 decided to ban the use of polythene less than 20 microns in thickness, including polythene bags.

The Central Environment Authority had introduced alternative proposals to replace polythene bags less than 20 microns in thickness.

The Government said that following extensive discussions it has now been decided to ban single use plastic and polythene items from 1st January 2021.

This includes a ban on certain types of plastic sachets, certain inflatable toys other than balloons and those used in pools, and certain cotton buds other than those used for medical purposes.

Cabinet co-spokesman Udaya Gammanpila said that the ban on plastic sachets will not affect sachets used for food.

Director General of the Central Environmental Authority Hemantha Jayasinghe had told the Colombo Gazette recently that steps will be taken to phase-out the production of plastic sachet packets, plastic straws, plastic bottles and plastic plates.

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)

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