Polythene ban imposed from September 1

Despite protests by polythene manufacturers, Cabinet this week decided that it will impose the ban on polythene as scheduled on September 1.

Manufacturers of polythene, soft packaging industry and other industries allied to the production of polythene, wholesale dealer and traders have made representations to the Industry and Commerce Ministry and stated they will be adversely affected by the ban.

They had stressed that the Cabinet decision to ban a few polythene items immediately will impact 30,000 employees. In addition, they had agreed to introduce bio-degradable polythene and other alternatives if a grace period was given. With these considerations having been considered at the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Management, the Prime Minister on Tuesday submitted a note to Cabinet asking that a grace period of one year be allowed for a smooth switch over to alternatives.

He also recommended that a Committee be appointed consisting of the Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary (Chairperson), Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary , Central Environment Authority Director General, Sri Lanka Standards Institute Director General , Industrial Technical Institute Director General and a representative of the Finance Ministry to formulate methods of transition and to aid with the process.

Cabinet however agreed to go ahead with the ban and have the above Committee aid the polythene manufacturers at the same time.

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