Par­lia­ment pro­poses ban on the sale of light plas­tic bags

Kyiv Post - - Business Focus -

"With bazaars, ev­ery­thing is a bit more com­pli­cated. There, cheap dis­pos­able pack­ag­ing reigns supreme," said Davy­denko. "How­ever, un­like in su­per­mar­kets, fruits and veg­eta­bles aren't packed into plas­tic… and you can al­ways use your own bag."

Ex­perts also raised a con­cern about the so-called biodegrad­able plas­tic bags con­tain­ing D2W, also known as oxo-degrad­able plas­tic. Ponikarchu­k and Davy­denko said that there is no ev­i­dence that such bags fully biode­grade. In­stead, they fall apart into mi­croplas­tic par­ti­cles, which can eas­ily get into the ground, the air, and the wa­ter sup­ply, poi­son­ing an­i­mals and peo­ple. This makes them more dan­ger­ous than large plas­tic bags, which can at least be gath­ered in one place. Oxo-degrad­able plas­tics do not re­quire any cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in Ukraine, ac­cord­ing to Re­Think.

The Euro­pean Union rec­om­mended to ban the use of plas­tics that con­tain D2W, writ­ing that these plas­tics are "not a so­lu­tion for the en­vi­ron­ment and that oxo-degrad­able plas­tic is not suited for long-term use, re­cy­cling or com­post­ing. There is con­sid­er­able risk that frag­mented plas­tics will not fully biode­grade and are a sub­se­quent risk of an ac­cel­er­ated and ac­cu­mu­lat­ing amount of mi­croplas­tics in the en­vi­ron­ment."

Pend­ing leg­is­la­tion

This week, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment ap­proved a new law ban­ning sin­gle-use plas­tic items like plates, straws and cut­lery by 2021. The law calls on mem­ber states to col­lect 90 per­cent of plas­tic bot­tles by 2029 and forces plas­tic bot­tles to con­tain 25 per­cent re­cy­cled con­tent by 2025.

In Jan­uary, the Verkhovna Rada, in­tro­duced bill 9507, propos­ing a ban on the sale of light plas­tic bags in re­tail out­lets. How­ever, the bill con­tains ex­cep­tions, per­mit­ting cer­tain ul­tra­light plas­tic bags as well as bulk prod­ucts for which the bag is the pri­mary pack­ag­ing.

Re­Think sup­ported the bill, stat­ing that it would align Ukraine "with civ­i­lized coun­tries that un­der­stand the con­se­quences of ex­ces­sive use of plas­tics for the en­vi­ron­ment." It would also force Ukraine to quickly de­velop al­ter­na­tive, en­vi­ron­men­tally-safe prod­ucts.

How­ever, Linichenko and the EBA crit­i­cized as­pects of the bill, say­ing that while busi­ness sup­ported a re­duc­tion in plas­tic bags, it would be un­fair to su­per­mar­kets be­cause they face more in­spec­tions than bazaars, which would con­tinue to use small dis­pos­able plas­tics.

Work­ers sort garbage at the No Waste Re­cy­cling Sta­tion in Kyiv on Septem­ber 4, 2018. Sev­eral re­cy­cling sta­tions have opened in Kyiv over the past year. (Ukrin­form)

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