News from Sri Lanka
Flooding and Rain in Sri Lanka (Adapted from LankaWeb.com)
Heavy pre-monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have caused severe flooding and the threat of landslides. At least 20 deaths have been reported and a number of people have been displaced from their homes. Members of the Sri Lankan embassy are encouraging people to contribute to the flood relief by sending cash, checks or money orders to the Embassy of Sri Lanka. (Address: Embassy of Sri Lanka, 3025 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington DC 20008.) to be distributed to the disaster relief fund.
Reducing Plastic use in Sri Lanka (Adapted from Kamanthi Wickremasinghe, The Daily Mirror)
A ban on the sale of plastics was put in place in 2017 after the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapsed. A ban on the production of polythene in excess of 20 microns was put into place in early 2018. Sri Lanka generates 700 metric tons of solid waste per day. In addition, garbage is not segregated to separate items that can be recycled. Microbeads made of polythene are found in cosmetics, face creams and lotions. They are toxic to animals that ingest them and carry health risks to humans. While many in Sri Lanka appreciate the need to eliminate these harmful materials, they note that alternatives to plastics have not been suggested or implemented, making the ban difficult to adhere to. The use of glass bottles has been suggested but opponents note that production and use of glass containers require more energy, expense and carry their own environmental hazards. A strong case is being made for more responsible recycling, separation of garbage and the support of environmental agencies in the country.