Polythene ban: CEA gets tough | Daily News

Polythene ban: CEA gets tough


The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will take legal action against those who produce, store and sell polythene less than 20 microns from tomorrow.

CEA Chairman Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri told the Daily News yesterday that the law on polythene ban would be strictly enforced throughout the country on the directives of President Maithripala Sirisena.

He said instruments to measure the micron levels were distributed to all nine provincial offices of the CEA.

“We have kept a team ready in each of these provincial offices and they will start the raids from tomorrow,” Prof. Dharmasiri said.

Solid Waste Management Director Ajith Wijesundara said the raids would commence from Rathmalana tomorrow and would gradually cover the entire country. He said the raiding team comprises CEA officials and the Police. “Raids will be conducted in supermarkets, production companies and ordinary shops,” he said.

The offenders will be subject to a fine of not more than Rs. 10,000 and/or a jail sentence of not more than two years.

Prof. Dharmasiri said the public who have polythene less than 20 microns in possession would not be punished, but requested to handover them to regional recycling centres.

“We have already identified the need to further expand the network of collecting centres for recycling of polythene and plastic,” he said.

Prof. Dharmasiri said among the polythene less than 20 microns used in the country, lunch sheets and shopping bags are the biggest problem.

“These are a major environmental hazard. The ban on polythene less than 20 microns is the first step and the President has suggested to take further action to restrict polythene use.

We have proposed further measures in this regard and are awaiting approval. In these proposals, we have suggested to ban polythene decorations at all ceremonies even including election campaigns. However, these are yet to be approved,” he said. 


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