ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has collected 34 20ft containers of waste that had washed ashore from the stricken vessel MV X-Press Pearl as of June 02, Chairman of Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Siripala Amarasinghe said.
Beaches in six districts that were polluted by waste from the vessel and in the first stage the waste collected could increase to 40 such containers.
Large volumes of plastic granules had washed ashore.
“As of yesterday evening, 34 twenty foot containers of waste were collected from six districts and this could increase up to 40 20ft containers in the first stage,” he told EconomyNext.
“It has only a little amount of polythene, about 80 percent collected could be sand.”
He said that after the completion of the court process and when permission is given to the CEA dispose of the waste, an operation will be done to separate the sand from the waste and categorised them accordingly.
According to the documents given by the vessel to Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) which was in turn available to the CEA, the vessel had a total of 1486 containers out of which 800 containers contained polythene.
“The documents which were given to MEPA by the ship is not sufficient, those documents do not have fair answers to the questions of the CEA,” he said.
He said a complaint had been made to the police Criminal Investigation Department to get more details of the cargo and volumes.
He said they hope to get the references and reconcile all 1486 containers in the ship through the ongoing CID investigation.
“We hope to see how many containers belong to Sri Lanka and who are the companies accepting them from Sri Lanka and whether they are registered with the CEA,” he added.(Colombo/June03/2021)