Paper to be submitted to the Cabinet next week – Amaraweera
By Thameenah Razeek
The second list of polythene and plastic products to be banned, will include plastic bottles containing less than 400 ml, plastic cups, all types of lunch sheets and synthetic grass sheets. The Cabinet Paper with regard to this will be submitted to the Cabinet next week.
According to the Cabinet Paper, single-use straws, stirrers, spoons, forks, knives including yogurt spoons, grocery bags made of plastic or polythene that are less than 10 (w) x 5 (G) x 17 (H) inches, plastic string hopper trays, packing of incense sticks and wicks using polythene material, plastic garlands, cups, and artificial grass mats will all be banned.
Although it was previously determined to ban the use of lunch sheets, the decision was not executed for a variety of reasons; according to Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera the decision will be reactivated. He said that plastic bottles with a capacity to contain less than 400 ml will also be banned.
Synthetic grasses, which are ubiquitous in hotels and restaurants, as well as some religious sites, will be banned due to the potential for them to quickly degrade into micro plastics, and the usage of such synthetic materials can cause significant environmental impact. Amaraweera pointed out that anyone may easily grow natural grasses on a land spot where the synthetic grasses were put, stating that specialists have noted that it is best to walk on the earth at least a few times a day for a healthy life.
It is very few people realize that the earth is the world’s greatest doctor, he said. “People who live in close proximity to the ground are less prone to become ill. As a result, even in a religious setting, using these fake grass covers in the yard is not recommended. Our forefathers visited the Sri Pada, Mihintale, Sigiriya, and Sithulpawwa with no sandals on their feet.
No long-term illness was resulted due to that,” he said. Therefore, I will submit the Cabinet Paper next week to ban the use of a variety of polythene and plastic items that are damaging not only to the environment but also to human health, Amaraweera elaborated.