WPC to ban polythene decor

By Azra Ameen and Pabodha Hettige

The use of polythene in the Western province for decorative purposes would be banned within the next three months, Minister of Environment, Western Provincial Council, Udaya Gammanpila told The Island.

"Polythene used for decorative purposes during election campaigns, funerals and other special occasions will be completely banned to minimise environmental pollution," the Minister said.

The Western Provincial Council was waiting for parliamentary observations on the matter, Gammanpila said. After the ban came into being, noncompliance would be strictly dealt with and the offenders fined, the Minister said. They would be liable to a fine of Rs. 50,000 and a two-year jail term if found guilty by a Court, Gammanpila said.

The Minister said: "The ban will be imposed in response to many a public appeal for tough measures to curb the haphazard disposal of polythene which clogs drains flooding Colombo and other urban areas as was seen in May 2010."

Responding to a query whether banning of polythene was practical, Gammanpila said that if Bangladesh, being a poor country, could successfully ban polythene, there was no reason why Sri Lanka should fail. He said he would leave no stone unturned in trying to achieve the goal the WPC had set for itself.

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