Measures to stop importing plastic items harmful to environment | Daily News

Measures to stop importing plastic items harmful to environment

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera expressing serious concern over the complaints made by nearly 40 traders who sell plastic toy items on either side of the Kandy Road at Belum Kanda in Ambanpitiya village said that measures have already been taken to stop importing certain identified plastic items which are harmful to the environment.

He said traders currently engaged in the business could continue with their usual business activities until finishing the stocks they have already purchased from importers in Colombo. It is said that over 2,000 people depend on the plastic item selling business at Belum Kanda in Ambanpitiya during the past four decades.

Ambanpitiya Plastic Item Sellers’ Association president Gamini Jayasinghe said their members have already purchased large stocks of plastic items such as toy elephants, balloons, dolls, deer, peacock, birds, swimming kits, bathing kits and various other similar items.

“Although our Association made repeated requests from the Environment Minister about the plight of over 2,000 plastic item traders and their families, we still have not got any favourable answer from the Minister,” he said.

He said encouraging people to dispatch their used plastic items for recycling purposes is the best alternative for traders to continue with their traditional business.

He said even their Association members refrained from selling various types of toys manufactured in the shape of guns, pistols, war tanks, armoured vehicles, snakes, cobras, crocodiles for the benefit of the younger generation.

The legend says that poor children at Ambanpitiya village in the early days were engaged in selling balloons to foreigners and it was the reason this village is called as `Balum Kanda’

He said their sales generally increase during the months of April, December and August due to New Year, Christmas and the Kandy Perahera.

He also requested Sri Lanka Tourism to instruct all tourist coaches to stop their vehicles at the Ambanpitiya Toy Village for at least a few minutes to enable the children of foreign tourists to purchase toy items.


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