(FILES) This file photo taken on June 26, 2017 shows a Sri Lankan man walking past garbage piled on a street in Colombo. Sri Lanka on September 1 slapped a blanket ban on the import, manufacture or sale of disposable plastic products and polythene shopping bags following environmental concerns. President Maithripala Sirisena promulgated several regulations banning the sale of plastic cups, plates, the ubiquitous plastic bags and also prohibited the burning of refuse containing plastic material. AFP PHOTO

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka banned plastic bags and other disposable products today after the collapse of the island’s biggest dump led to a rubbish disposal crisis.

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 flooding 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,” the president said.

Offenders could be fined 10,000 rupees ($66) and jailed for up to two years. - AFP

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