The Gazette Notification No 1466/5 issued under the Section 23 W of the National Environment Act No 47 of 1980 prohibits manufacture of food wrappers from polythene as a raw material for in country use and the sale, offer for sale, offer free of charge, exhibition or use of food wrappers manufactured from polythene as a raw material within the country.
Polythene includes high density polythene, low density polythene and polypropylene. Open burning of refuse and other combustible matters inclusive of plastics are also prohibited.
According to the gazette notification, the use of all forms of polythene, polyethylene, Polypropylene, polyethylene products or polypropylene products as decoration in political, social religious, national, cultural, or any other event or occasion is strictly prohibited and the ban includes manufacture of food containers, plates, cups and spoons from expanded polystyrene for in country use and the sale, offer for sale, offer free of charge, exhibition or use of food containers, plates cups and spoons manufactured from expanded polystyrene within the country.
The sale, importation and production of shopping bags, lunch sheets and rigifoam items was banned from September 1, 2017 with a grace period having being declared till 1st January, 2018, considering the repeated requests made by the Polythene Manufacturers Association.
The government resorted to banning the use of polythene to restrict the use of polythene bags and to minimize the environmental hazards caused as a result.
The penalty includes fines of up to Rs. 10,000 or two years of imprisonment or both, depending on the case.
Non-compliant manufacturers will be charged and subject to shut down, as the case requires.
The CEA is to carry out countrywide inspections to all smaller and larger scale manufacturers of polythene-based products.
Meanwhile, there is a total ban on using polythene flags and banners at the upcoming Local Government elections.
The ban on household electric appliances that contain Hydrochloro-flurocarbon or HCFC too came into effect from yesterday (1), as the use of HCFC is extremely harmful to the environment and to the ozone layer.