Waste containers will not be allowed into Sri Lanka - CEA | Daily News

Waste containers will not be allowed into Sri Lanka - CEA

The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) pledged that strict laws will be implemented to stop the importing of illegal cargo containers which Consist of domestic and urban waste from foreign destinations to Sri Lanka in the future.

The decision was taken by CEA following a large consignment of domestic and urban waste that were transported to Sri Lanka from the United Kingdom during the period between 2018-2019.

Speaking to Daily News Finance CEA, Waste Management Unit and Director Ajith Weerasundara said that out of 263 containers of domestic and urban waste which were shipped to Sri Lanka, 106 containers have so far been sent back to the United Kingdom.

The Director said they were even used carpets and mattresses in the waste containers. He said the objective of importing such waste materials to Sri Lanka was to recycle them and segregate into different parts and thereafter send back these segregated items to many other countries without disposing any of them in Sri Lanka.

The CEA Director further said that importing these bulk of waste had not even received prior approval from the Import and Export Control Department before being shipped from the United Kingdom.

He said obtaining prior approval when importing such materials is compulsory under the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes that both Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom are signatories. Asked whether the CEA would take legal action against the Sri Lankan companies who were responsible to import this cargo, the Director said it was not the CEA but the Sri Lanka Customs who were responsible to make inquirers from relevant parties in this regard and take legal action against the importers for transporting these waste containers to Sri Lanka.

“However, the remaining 157 containers are currently in the Colombo Port and in the Sri Lanka Customs Katunayaka Zone and the return of these containers will also be carried out by CEA step by step within the next few months, “ Director Weerasundara added.

Director Weerasundara assured that no containers with domestic or urban waste will be allowed to transport to the country from any part of the world