On December 24, 2020, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Environment has released a draft National Policy on Chemicals Management. The draft policy addresses the life cycle management of chemicals, covering toxic pesticides and hazardous industrial chemicals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic substances (PBTs), and endocrine disruptive chemicals. Based on the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle, the proposed policy has the following policy objectives.
- Ensure effective enforcement and implementation of related laws, regulations, guidelines and standards by clear allocation of responsibilities
- Implement the obligations made under the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in relation to chemical management
- Foster capacity building and technological cooperation of all stakeholders
- Establish effective control and monitoring systems for chemical management to assess policy implementation efficiency, regulatory compliance and identify emerging risks
- Promote and ensure dissemination of knowledge of safe and environment friendly
- handling of chemicals
- Ensure the safe and sustainable management of chemicals at every stage of the chemical life-cycle and in this way, protecting human health, protecting the environment and reducing resource consumption
In order to achieve the above goals, the import, production, use, storage, transportation, sale and disposal of chemicals must comply with national laws and regulations as well as international conventions and policies greeted, and it is planned to develop and revise national laws and regulations to be harmonized with international conventions and other regulations. Also, extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the polluter pays principle (PPP) shall be established to internalize externalities related to chemicals management.
Other strategies for sustainable chemicals management include the following.
- Establish and activate the Coordinating Secretariat for Management of Chemicals
- Introduce technical, technological and managerial tools to all stages of the chemical value chain
- Train inspectors and establish a comprehensive inspection system for factories
- Promote and foster industrial self-assessment capacity in sound management of chemicals and waste
- Coordinate with Central Environmental Authority to promote chemical consumption reporting of industries in Environment Protection License and Scheduled Waste Management License Applications with special focus on hazardous chemicals used
- Introduce a database to collect chemical information
- Develop regulations on the transport of dangerous goods to ensure safe transport of hazardous chemicals.
The draft National Policy on Chemicals Management can be downloaded from the following URL (in English).