Crate Law In Effect
The controversial plastic crate law, which came into effect last Tuesday (12), states that certain vegetables and fruits should be transported from the economic centres around the country to Colombo in plastic crates, wooden crates or cardboard boxes.
The law was introduced to ensure that there was a 35% reduction in the wastage of the fruits and vegetables during transportation.
However, when the market in Kottawa was visited it was found that vegetable and fruit supplies had reduced by 50% following the implementation of the new law. Transporters said that they were refusing to transport the goods as those who did not have the plastic crates were being fined Rs. 7,500.
According to the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade the law is applicable only to eleven vegetables and ten fruits. S. Nipuna, spokesperson for the Ministry, explained that “these are vegetables and fruits which are high in demand; as such they are continually transported around the country. By transporting them in plastic crates we are avoiding any damage caused to the product.”
Nipuna went on to explain that the ministry had been carrying out raids on economic centres around the country to ensure proper packaging of the fruits and vegetables. He further added that in the past week up to 15 transporters had been found to be incorrectly transporting the products.
He denied that the vegetable supplies had reduced following the implementation of the law.