Polythene and plastic ban in effect from today

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The ban on the use of specific polythene & plastic items, mentioned in a gazette issued by the Ministry of Environment on the 21st of January this year, will be in effect from today (March 31).

Accordingly, the use of following items has been banned in this manner:

• Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material for packing agrochemicals for any process, trade or industry
• Sachets having less than or equal to a net volume of 20ml/ net weight of 20g (except for packing food and medicines)
• Inflatable toys (except balloons, balls, water floating/pool toys, and water sports gear)
• Cotton buds with plastic stems (except plastic cotton buds used for medical/clinical treatment)

In a recent press briefing, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said the goods entering the country from tomorrow will be seized at the ports of entry from today onwards, however, traders of plastic goods will be allowed to sell their existing stocks. He noted that a grace period of three months will be granted to them.

Further, the minister also announced that restrictions on the use of asbestos have also received cabinet approval, and will be implemented soon.