CEA to raid polythene factories from next month

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Nearly 500 illegal polythene producers in business with no registration

By Shanika Sriyananda

The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) plans to conduct a series of raids from 1 December to check whether polythene manufacturers are following the guidelines announced in the Gazette for manufacturing shopping bags, rigifoam boxes and lunch sheets.

CEA Chairman Prof. Lal Dharmasiri said there were 500 polythene manufacturers, including those who produce polythene, lunch sheets and shopping bags, and these polythene manufacturing plants would be under surveillance from next month.

“There is a manufacturing plant in Kandy and we have already visited it last month.

 The majority of the polythene manufacturing plants are in the Western Province,” he said, adding that the CEA wants to get those that are engaged in the polythene business with no registration to prevent harmful polythene materials getting into the market.

“According to the Polythene Manufactures Association, there are nearly 500 people who are doing it as a domestic business. We invite them to register with us,” he said.

Following a proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Minister of Environment, the Government announced a ban on all polythene products less than 20 microns from September this year.

Under new regulations, which ban the use, production, import and sale of polythene lunch sheets, shopping bags and rigifoam items, the Government has introduced short-term, medium-term and long-term measures to bring down polythene usage mainly to prevent environmental pollution due to polythene.

Prof. Dharmasiri said that the CEA would prepare a database on polythene producers and requested all those who were engaged in any form of business related to polythene products to soon get their businesses registered with the CEA.

“Those who are without registration will be considered as engaging in an illegal business and if they are caught, the CEA will take legal action against them,” he said.

According to new regulations, those who do not adhere to the stipulated regulations in manufacturing polythene-related products will be fined Rs. 10,000 or face a two-year imprisonment.