Clinical waste MEPA wants ministry to discuss this with India

Published : 12:01 am  August 15, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Chaturanga Samarawickrama  

The Maritime Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said yesterday it would request the Ministry of Environment to discuss this matter with the Indian High Commission at a diplomatic level to urge India to prevent clinical waste being dumped in the ocean.  

MEPA CEO Terney Pradeep Kumara said they were collecting and sorting out the waste that was washed ashore in Puttalam and they would be incinerated in chemical-waste incinerators.  

“We hope to request the Indian High Commission through the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment to take action to prevent clinical waste from India being directed towards Sri Lankan beaches,” he said.  The India Today News website earlier reported that the waste included a large stock of expired drugs, manufactured in India.  

Similar clinical waste had washed ashore in Vadamarachchi, Thondaimanaru and other parts of the Jaffna District in November last year.  

MEPA Puttalam District officer Priyanga Samarasekera said they were cleaning the beach in Udappuwa in the North-Western coastal belt to Cinna Padu in Puttalam.  

“We will examine the clinical waste after they are collected,” she said   

“But from the collected clinical waste so far, ninety per cent of them are from Sri Lanka. We could not collect at least five kilograms of Indian chemical waste from the beach. “We did not find any syringes, needles or anything connected to India,” she said. “Most of the waste consisted of cosmetic bottles, food wrappers, multivitamin bottles and plastic bottles manufactured in Sri Lanka. The bottles that are suspected to be from India were found without labels.”   

She said the hazardous waste would be sent to the Holcim Cement Company for incineration.