Local Government Authorities and Environmental Groups welcomed the decision by the Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply, Dinesh Gunawardena, to prohibit the use of polythene material for publicity and decorative purposes in public places from 1.1.2006.
Polythene is widely used in private and public events for decorative purposes. It has become an environmental hazard as it pollutes the environment in diverse ways and also gets into drainage systems and blocks the passage of water causing water logging and minor floods during rains, Minister Gunawardena said.
The minister will introduce a law in Parliament to prohibit the use of non-perishable polythene, UDA sources said. The ban will come into force in the Western Province first and subsequently be enforced in the rest of the country, he said.
`We will had a meeting with the heads of local government bodies before we made this decision and they welcomed it. I also like to appeal to the public and parties who are engaged in using this material for publicity and other purposes to stop it as it has become a public nuisance, an environmental pollutant and a health hazard too,` he said.