Plastic bags, cups, plates banned in Sri Lanka to control rubbish

A man next to a mountain of mostly plastic trash in Colombo, Sri Lanka. - AFP

Plastic bags and other disposable products were banned in Sri Lanka last month after the collapse of the island’s biggest dump led to a rubbish disposal crisis, reports AFP.

Rotting garbage piled up in many parts of the capital after the giant rubbish tip collapsed in April, crushing dozens of homes and killing 32 people.

Many blamed the haphazard use of plastic, which was also cited in flash floods in the capital after storm water drains became clogged.

In response, President Maithripala Sirisena banned the sale of plastic bags, cups and plates, as well as the burning of refuse containing plastic.

“Any person who fails to comply with the regulations... shall be liable to an offence and punishable under the National Environmental Act,” AFP cites the President as saying.

Offenders could be fined 10,000 rupees (RM275) and jailed for up to two years.

Earlier, it reported that Sri Lanka has been facing a dengue outbreak spread by mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water (plastic is blamed for clogging drains).

According to Reuters, dengue had killed around 300 people in Sri Lanka during the rainy season this year and infected about 100,000 people.

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