Plastic Waste Management in Sri Lanka - Effective policy approaches

University essay from Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet

Abstract: Waste management is one of the key environmental issues identified in Sri Lanka. Waste generation is linked with the increase of population and urbanization. Polyethylene and other plastics have become a significant consumable material in lifestyles of the public as well as all types of industries in the country. The plastic consumption is high with the sophistication of living standards of the lifestyle. Managing plastic waste is significant issue in Sri Lanka due to unavailability of valided technology along with the infrastructure for material recycling and recovery. Littering is the main issue of plastic and haphazard disposal, open dumping and burning of plastic cause negative externalities to the environment and human health. The main environmental impacts are air pollution, impact on human health, degradation of land and water, impact on biodiversity and aesthetic value. The government of Sri Lanka has taken many initiatives to improve waste management systems in the country where some of them are development of policies, strategies, guidelines, legislation and provision of infrastructure facilities for waste management. However, poor results have been achieved due to many reasons. This research aims to explore important policy approaches that could be applied in Sri Lanka as a long-term solution to manage plastic waste. The overarching goal of this research is to make recommendations based on policy tools that have been successfully applied in other countries and which can be adopted in Sri Lanka.

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