The ban on shopping bags and lunch sheets will be implemented in the next few weeks, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
“The Environment Ministry has implemented a number of programmes for the environmental protection. We have implemented a ban on polythene and plastics which are widely used in our country. We have banned five polythene and plastic products since March 31 and eight more categories are to be banned shortly,” the Minister said.
“Banning lunch sheets and shopping bags would probably be controversial. These two types cause the most pollution in our country. The total amount of shopping bags discarded in the island annually is around two billion. Lunch sheets are also released to the environment in large numbers,” he said.
“We are in discussions with the relevant departments to introduce alternatives to these products. However, there is no product that meets the demand still. Whether there are options or not, the ban on lunch sheets and shopping bags will definitely be implemented. Before these came into use, we had some other method for the purposes. Therefore, we may have to get used to them again,” he said.
He was speaking at an event at the Ministry yesterday, where the Lions Club 306 B 2 District presented a proposed Environmental Management Plan to be implemented during the period 2021-22 to the Ministry.