Ban on use of plastics goes into effect from March 31

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The ban on single-use and short-term use plastics will take effect on March 31, the Central Environmental Authority said. The Authority states that it will issue standard markers for the identification of plastics.

The regulations cited as the National Environmental (Plastic Material Indentification Standards) Regulations No. 01 of 2021 have been made by the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera under Section 32 of the National Environmental Act, No. 47 of 1980.

Accordingly, with effect from March 31st, 2021, the use of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material for packing agrochemicals used for any process, trade or industry is prohibited.

In addition, the ban applies to any plastic item specified for any process, trade or industry:- (i) Sachets having less than or equal to a net volume of 20ml/ net weight of 20g (except for packing food and medicines).
(ii) Inflatable toys (except balloons, balls, water floating/pool toys and water sports gear).
(iii) Cotton buds with plastic stems (except plastic cotton buds used for medical/clinical treatment).
This has been published in the Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 2211/51 January 21, 2021.

Meanwhile, Gazette Notification No. 2211/50 dated 21st January 2021 has made it mandatory to state the type of plastic used for any plastic product.

It has also introduced an internationally used coding system to identify each type of plastic, with the aim of minimizing environmental pollution by facilitating the recycling of plastics.

“Plastic Item” means a product manufactured using polyethylene, terephthalate, high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polystyrene, any other similar raw material or any mixture thereof.

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