The Environment Ministry will add several more items to the list of banned plastic and polythene products which are deemed harmful to both the environment and human health.
The new items to be added to the list of banned plastics and polythene products are single use straws and stirrers, single use spoons, forks, knives including yoghurt spoons, shopping bags, grocery (sili sili) bags of less than 10 (w) x5 (G) x17 (H) inch made of plastic or polythene, plastic string hopper trays, packings of incense sticks and wicks using polythene material, plastic garlands, plastic cups and artificial grass mats.
A discussion was held in this regard by Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, the Ministry’s media unit said. Although it was earlier decided to ban lunch sheets, the decision was not implemented for various reasons. But the environment minister said he had decided to re-implement the decision. Measures have also been taken to ban plastic bottles under 400 ml.
The decision to ban artificial grass mats, which are common in various hotels and restaurants, as well as in some religious places, was made despite the potential for them to quickly turn into micro plastics. The Minister further stated that the use is causing great harm to the environment.