Tax on imported plastics soon | Daily News

Tax on imported plastics soon

The Government will introduce a new tax on all imported plastic products shortly to protect wildlife and the environment, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said.

The decision was taken after plastic was found in the carcass of elephants and deer and the effect of plastic on the environment. The tax will include imported polythene products.

“We are planning to impose a heavy tax on these products to discourage imports,” Minister Amaraweera said.

He said the Government will also halt manufacturing plastic and polythene in the country, but that will not be immediately,” he said.

According to a report of the Auditor General’s Department, almost 70 percent of the plastic imported to the country is disposed directly to the environment.

However, this is not the first time that such a ban was introduced. Two attempts in 1994 and 2006 were futile due to pressure from polythene manufacturers and retailers.

Through the enactment of the Environmental Conservation Levy Act No. 26 of 2008, an Environmental Conservation Levy was imposed to change the behavioural patterns of consumers.

Later in 2018, a partial ban that limited the use of polythene or polythene products of 20 microns or below in thickness came into effect.

Any person who violates the ban under the 2018 law, on conviction can be imprisoned for two years or fined up to Rs. 15,000 or be subject to both penalties.