Ban still effective from September 1
Proposal to extend grace period by one year rejected
Committee appointed to devise mechanism for smooth switchover
Cabinet this week decided to defer taking legal action on the polythene ban till January next year, Cabinet Co-spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne told reporters yesterday.
However, the ban on the use and production of polythene will be effective from September this year, he said. “This is to give lead time for those who are engaged in the industry to find other employment,” the Minister said.
A proposal by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to defer the ban by one year, highlighting that an immediate ban will affect around 30,000 employees engaged in related industries, was refused by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
However, the Prime Minister’s proposal to appoint a committee to ensure a smooth switchover to alternatives was approved. The committee comprises secretaries to the ministries of Industry and Commerce and Mahaveli Development and Environment, Directors General of the Central Environmental Authority, Sri Lanka Standards Institute and Industrial Technology Institute and a representative of the Ministry of Finance. Further, the Sri Lanka Standards Institute has been tasked with formulating national standards for biodegradable polythene in coordination with the Industrial Technology Institute. (CD)