DWC, FD ban use of polythene within Protected Areas

The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) and the Forest Department (FD), have decided to ban the use of polythene and plastic within Protected Areas, (PAs); strict nature reserves, national parks, nature reserves, world heritage sites, international biosphere reserves, conservation forests, and reserved forests; managed by both departments, which would be effective from February 4 onward.

The above decision has been taken under the provisions of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (Amendment) Act. No. 22 of 2009 and the National Environment Act No. 56 of 1988. Accordingly, the following are the items that would be banned:

Disposable plastic bottles (water and other drinks), polythene bags (this includes shopping bags), food wrappers (this includes lunch sheets), and polystyrene food containers.

The following items would be allowed to be used within PAs, however, visitors are requested to remove them from the PAs at the completion of their visit;

Reusable water bottles (this includes aluminum/metal bottles and heavy-duty plastic bottles), cloth and paper bags, and re-usable food containers.

This decision has been taken to further improve the conservation and protection of wild fauna and flora in the country, meeting climate change commitments and, to improve the carbon footprint and lead to reduction of plastic and polythene usage in Sri Lanka.

Those who do not adhere to the ban of use of the above mentioned items would be dealt with under the relevant laws mentioned.

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