The Environment Ministry under the instruction of Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has decided to ban the production, distribution and sale of non-perishable lunch sheets made of polythene from August 1.
“There is no need to issue a special gazette notification in this regard and although a gazette notification was issued regarding the ban on non-perishable lunch sheets made of polythene in 2017, it has not been implemented properly,” said Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.
A discussion was held on Tuesday (27) at the Ministry of Environment under the patronage of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera with all representatives of the supermarket chains currently operating in the country regarding the ban on non-perishable lunch sheets.
It was attended by representatives of supermarket chains including Cargills, John Keells, Spar, Laugfs and Softlogic. Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasinghe, and representatives of institutions including the Central Environmental Authority also participated.
The Minister said that non-perishable lunch sheets cause a great damage to the environment, since 12-15 million lunch sheets are added to the environment of our country daily.
The Minister said that at least 01 percent of the lunch sheets used by humans are not recycled and more than 99 percent are disposed of in the environment.
“We discussed the lunch sheet ban with the manufacturers. We also had discussions with companies that make degradable lunch sheets. We only plan to ban non-perishable lunch sheets. But the market sells biodegradable lunch sheets. At present, about eight companies have joined this programme. Compostable lunch sheets cost more than lunch sheets made of polythene,” the Minister said.Accordingly, the Minister requested the representatives of the supermarket chains to support the sale of biodegradable lunch sheets as a service to the country irrespective of profit. Accordingly, the delegates agreed with the Minister that they would support the programme.
The ban on non-perishable lunch sheets made of polythene will come into effect from August 1 and steps have been taken to introduce alternatives to the public. Accordingly, only perishable lunch sheets can be sold in stores. It is also illegal to manufacture, distribute or sell non-perishable lunch sheets.