Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasinghe handed over the National Action Plan to Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. The Government of Japan has co-sponsored the United Nations Environment Program, IETC- Technology for Environment, Environmental Strategies and the Ministry of Environment to formulate the National Action Plan on Plastic Waste Management.
In view of the recent irregularities in the disposal of plastic waste in Sri Lanka, it is proposed that action be taken to reduce the use of plastics in the next ten years.
In particular, it aims to manage the plastic waste that is added to the environment through the process of Reducing, Re-using and Recycling plastics following the 3R concept.
The amount of plastic raw materials imported to the country annually is 300,000 metric tons. Also, the amount of urban solid waste in the country is 10,768 metric tons per day. Also, the amount of solid waste collected by the local authorities per day is 3,458 metric tons.
Accordingly, it appears that 50 percent of the solid waste disposed of in our country on a daily basis is discharged into the environment without being recycled or re-used.
“A number of steps have already been taken to address this serious environmental problem,” Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. Speaking at the event, the Minister said that the Ministry of Environment has already taken a number of steps to reduce the use of polythene and plastics.
Accordingly, the production, sale and distribution of many products made using non-perishable plastics and polythene, which adds the most to the environment, has been banned.
Since March 31, five plastic and polythene and plastic based products, including sachets, have been banned.
It also banned the production, distribution and sale of non-perishable lunch sheets from August 01. He also said that the relevant Cabinet paper has already been submitted to the Cabinet to ban eight other products including shopping bags.
The Minister said that the Ministry of Environment will provide a sustainable solution to the plague of polythene and plastics engulfing the country by implementing all the proposals made in this Ten Year National Action Plan.