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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

Good bye polythene and two-stroke three wheelers

By Vandana Jayasinghe

Colombo, 06 January, (Asiantribune.com): While giving a grace period of three-months for people to say 'good bye' to polythene, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will be also planned to be tough on the importation of two-stroke three-wheelers to bring down the air pollution and also harmful effect on human health.

Using polythene has become very popular in Sri Lanka during the past two decades and the 'magical' wrapper replaced the traditional eco-friendly wrappers fast. However, the 'God sent carrier' soon became a menace damaging the environment and causing lots of
environmental problems.

The main culprit for clogged drains during the rainy season is still the polythene.

New laws have been brought in from January 1 mainly to ban the use of polythene products below 20 microns. Under these regulations sili sili bags, lunch sheets and other polythene wrappers and bags below micron 20 will be illegal to use.

Addressing a media conference held in Colombo, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Maitripala Sirisena said that the regulations were brought in to ban polythene due to high usage of this material. " We hope to educate the ordinary people more about the harmful effects of polythene during the next three months before enforcing the law", he pointed out.

According to Minister Siripala, the regulations will be strictly enforced to manufacturers and sellers who produce and sell polythene below 20 microns.

Under new regulations, manufacturers, sellers and users, who violate the law, will be brought to the book. Those who are convicted will be imprisoned for two years or subjected to a fine of Rs. 2,000 or both.

Minister Sirisena said that those who engage in polythene business had been educated on the harmful effects on environment and human health for the last few years but a grace period of three-months will be given to the ordinary people to looks for alternatives.

He said that the regulations on polythene will be enforced from April 1 and no one was allowed to use polythene below 20 microns, which is difficult to recycle.

A flying squard has been set up by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to check polythene-manufacturing factories, which neglect the regulations.

Minister Sirisena said that all types of polythene products would be banned within next three years under a long-term project by the CEA Twelve shops, which sold polythene products below 20 microns, have been raided by the flying squad during the week.

Meanwhile, importation of two-stroke three-wheelers will also be stopped due to air pollution, which is becoming one of the major environmental and health problems in cities.

According to sources, over 90 per cent of three-wheelers used in Sri Lanka are two-stroke. Minister Sirisena said that he has already submitted a Cabinet memorandum on banning importation of two-stroke three-wheelers, which is a major contributor of air pollution.

- Asian Tribune -

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