The study was conducted in Ruwanwella during November to January 2022. Polythene poses serious impacts on the environment. The aim of this survey was to assess people's perceptions about the usage of polythene and its impact on the environment. Data was collected from 30 housewives and 30 A/L students using two semi-structured questionnaires and interviews with a doctor. The main reason for using polythene bags among both groups were the lack of alternatives. Burning Polythene was the common method used by both groups (93%,63%). They recognized that polythene leads to issues like blocked drainage systems, air pollution, deterioration of scenic beauty, water pollution, and the breeding of mosquitoes due to the presence of polythene waste. Furthermore, 97% of housewives agreed that polythene waste contributes to the sickness of animals and soil infertility. Regarding the concern about causing floods due to polythene blockage, 50% of housewives agreed, 37% disagreed, and 13% were not concerned. On the other hand, the majority of A/L students (80%) were not concerned about the environmental impact of polythene bags causing floods. The study revealed that both groups lack knowledge and awareness about the flood risk posed by polythene waste. This study also indicated that the trend of using polythene bags is increasing, despite respondents' awareness of the harmful effects of plastic products. To mitigate impacts of polythene waste, it is suggested to banning of polythene bags, encourage the use of organic materials to wrap lunch, and promote alternatives to polythene bags.
Key words: Polythene, perception, environment, effect, infertility.
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