Number of plastic items including single-use sachet packets banned

A number of plastic items including single-use sachet packets have been banned.

The Ministry of Environment has issued a gazette notification imposing the ban with effect from 31, March 2021.

Accordingly, the use of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material to package agrochemicals has been banned.

Also banned are sachets having less than or equal to a net volume of 20ml/ net weight of 20g (except for packing food and medicines), inflatable toys (except balloons, balls, water floating/pool toys, and water sports gear) and cotton buds with plastic stems (except plastic cotton buds used for medical/clinical treatment).

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

However the implementation of the decision has now been postponed to 31, March 2021.

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.

Director General of the Central Environmental Authority Hemantha Jayasinghe had told the Colombo Gazette earlier 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)