Thameenah Razeek (DM) – ceylontoday.lk
Under the Ministry of Environment’s effort to minimize the use of polythene and plastic in the country, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has directed the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to take procedures to launch the first phase of the polythene grocery bag ban in January 2022.
As a result, efforts have been made to phase out the use of shopping bags in two stages, with Minister Amaraweera noting that the overall yearly consumption of supermarket bags in our country exceeds 2 billion.
The amount of polythene grocery bags provided to consumers by two networks of companies in the Sri Lankan supermarket chain is estimated to be over 1 billion per year, according to statistics obtained by the Ministry of Environment. One shop belonging to a single grocery chain alone issues roughly 500,000 shopping bags per day.
According to the Minister, the total number of grocery bags issued by all other retailers in our country exceeds Rs. 2 billion, with the problem being that the bags are never reused.
“Also, 100% of disposable shopping bags are thrown away in the environment, with only 1% of them being recycled. Accordingly, these single-use bags will be phased out over time. From January 2022, the first phase will be operational. As a result, all shopping bags with a width of 10 inches, a depth of 05 inches, and a height of 16 inches or less are expected to be outlawed in the first phase,” Amaraweera said.
In conclusion, he stated that equivalents for these bags are presently being developed, and that the ban will be implemented regardless of whether or not alternatives are available, and that these measures will be adopted in light of the country’s environmental and health risks.