The Central Environment Authority (CEA) says that the use of polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam lunch boxes and shopping bags will be banned from September.

The Cabinet als approved to prohibit the use of polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam from September.

The proposal was made byPresident Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to implement short term, medium term and long term activities recommended by the committee of intellectuals appointed in this regard, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Short term measures

•    Prohibition of polythene use for decorations in all events

•    Implement the prevailing regulations for prohibition of use, sale and production of polythene equals or less than 20 microns.

•    Allow use of polythene less than 20 microns for essential activities only on the approval of Central Environmental Authority

•    Prohibition of sale, importation and production of lunch sheets

•     Prohibition of sale, importation and production of containers, plates, cups, spoons made using polystyrene

•    Prohibition of sale of processed or cooked meals packed in polythene containers

•    Promotion of providing paper, cloth or reed bags or biologically degradable plastics for customers when purchasing items in stores

•    Prohibition of burning polythene and plastic in open places

•    introduction and promotion of biologically degradable polythene and plastics

Midterm activities

•    Provision of tax concessions in importation of machinery used in biologically degradable plastic productions

•    Imposing a cess tax of 15% on importation of plastic row material and goods

Long term activities

•    Completely prohibition of recycled plastic products