The ban on polythene based products such as sachets, polythene and shopping bags, wrappers, lunch sheets and plastic items has been successful and the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will conduct 4,930 raids before the end of this year, the Environment Ministry said.
The Ministry banned five single-use items made of polythene and plastic since March 31 this year.
The production, distribution and sale of sachets (non-food and non-pharmaceutical), plastic-wrapped cotton buds, and polythene inflatable toys, which have been banned since March 31, have now come to a complete halt.
The production, distribution and selling of non-perishable lunch sheets made of polythene were also banned from August 1.
Subsequently, Cabinet approval was granted to ban eight more polythene and plastic items.
The relevant gazette notification will be issued soon. According to information obtained by the Ministry, sachets worth Rs. 960 million are sold in the country annually. The number of lunch sheets released to the environment annually exceeds 5,475 million.
These will never decompose once put out in the environment. It takes about 50 to 450 years for lunch sheets to be invisible to the human eye, which then turns into microscopic plastic particles and then nanoparticles, eventually adding to the soil as well as the reservoirs, water sources and oceans.
The Ministery added that the success of the ban on sachets as well as non-perishable lunch sheets made of polythene, which had caused great damage to our environment, was a victory to our country. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)