Only biodegradable lunch sheets can be used from August 01

Only biodegradable lunch sheets can be used from August 01

Fri, Jul 16, 2021, 10:30 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 16, Colombo: The Ministry of Environment has taken a number of decisions regarding the production, distribution and sale of biodegradable lunch sheets from August 01.

The Ministry of Environment has taken steps to ban the production and distribution of polythene lunch sheets in Sri Lanka from August 01.

Accordingly, only biodegradable lunch sheets can be used for food wrapping after August 01 and only those lunch sheets can be manufactured in factories in the country, distributed and sold.

At present there are 08 companies in Sri Lanka that produce biodegradable lunch sheets and the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera had extensive discussions with its representatives in this regard yesterday (15).

Discussions focused on the problems that these companies face in the production of biodegradable lunch sheets

The industrialists pointed out that they had to bear the high cost of importing the raw materials needed to produce biodegradable lunch sheets. They say it costs three times more to produce these fast-decomposing lunch sheets than lunch sheets made of polythene. They also requested the government to provide tax relief for this purpose.

However, the Minister instructed the Central Environmental Authority to immediately provide a report to him on their problems to present in the Cabinet.

The Minister also stated that if it is reported that the companies that obtain licenses for the production of biodegradable lunch sheets have produced polythene lunch sheets, the licenses issued to those companies will be revoked immediately in the first instance.

Several more decisions were reached at the meeting as follows:

1. Increase the fine for production, distribution and sale of polythene lunch sheets to Rs. 100,000. (Current fine is Rs. 10,000)

2. Grant one month grace period to polythene lunch sheet manufacturing companies

3. Allow new companies to produce biodegradable lunch sheets

4. Complete Inactivation of Polythene lunch sheet production

5. Introduce a code to identify the manufacturing company and print the code on every lunch sheet issued by respective company to prevent other counterfeit manufacturers from doing so in the production of biodegradable lunch sheets. Use health-friendly paints for that.

6. Continue to regulate these companies as well as the market through the Central Environmental Authority, the Consumer Protection Authority and other agencies and seek the assistance of the police in raids if necessary.

7. Amend the existing Acts including the Environment Act to increase the current fines and penalties

The Minister requested the representatives of these companies to support the government’s plan to reduce the use of polythene and plastics to mitigate environmental and health problems in the country.

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