Plastic purge

Published: Saturday 15 November 2003

-- The mounting problem of non-biodegradable plastic waste seems to have caught the Sri Lankan government's attention. The country's cabinet has given its nod to a series of proposals put forward by the country's environment and natural resources minister, Rukman Senanayake, to tackle the pollution problem arising from the improper disposal of plastic and other waste.

Most importantly, the plan to impose a tax on plastic raw materials at the point of import has been approved. The revenue so collected would be deposited in the 'plastics account' at the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). The fund is to finance environmental education, pilot projects on garbage separation and waste recycling, development of biodegradable plastics and a public awareness campaign on proper waste disposal.

Sili sili bags, made of thin film-type plastic, and lunch sheets, are to be banned in all government buildings and premises as well as schools and playgrounds. The cabinet has also approved the setting up of a Plastics Partnership Committee comprising representatives of the Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing Institute, CEA and the ministry of finance.

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