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Burning of polythene, plastics in open places to be banned

The burning of polythene and plastics in open places will be banned shortly, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman Prof Lal Mervin Dharmasiri said.

He said the decision was taken considering the serious health and environmental hazards of burning polythene and plastics.

“Many people who are used to home burning of polythene and plastic waste are not aware as to how harmful this practice is.

“Health studies have confirmed that the toxic emissions released when burning polythene and plastics cause cancer and respiratory ailments,” he pointed out.

Prof.Dharmasiri said banning the burning of polythene and plastics in open places or within the premises has been included in to the Action Plan for proper management of the use of polythene prepared by the CEA with the consultation of an expert committee.

Following Cabinet approval for the Action Plan, the Government last week announced a blanket ban on shopping bags,lunch sheets and regifoam lunch boxes from September 1.

The CEA has also recommended the Government to impose 15 percent CESS during importation of plastic raw material and related products and provide 5 percent out of that to the CEA to manage polythene and plastic waste. It has further proposed to totally ban the importation of recycled plastic raw material.

It has recommended giving tax concessions for the machinery for recycling of plastic waste and for biodegradable raw materials and manufacturing machinery.