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Business supports the decision to limit the use of plastic bags while urging for certain revisions

02/ 06/ 2021
  On June 1, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law of Ukraine On Restrictions on the Circulation of Plastic Bags on the Territory of Ukraine as a whole in the second reading. The European Business Association supports the states aspiration to gradually abandon plastic for the sake of the environment. Meanwhile, the community has a number of comments and suggestions that business encourages to take into account in the further implementation of this initiative. For example, the EBA experts proposed to include in the draft law provisions on the possibility of further use of recycled plastic bags in retail, catering, and the service sector. After all, the recycling industry is just beginning to emerge in Ukraine and needs state support. Therefore, in our opinion, it is important to promote the development of the recycling and production of processed raw materials, for example, plastic bags, and not to introduce a ban on their use. Therefore, the EBA proposed not to extend the ban to recycled plastic bags with content of secondary raw materials of at least 50%. Moreover, there is still an urgent need in Ukraine to develop framework legislation on waste management. Without it, unfortunately, the issues of recycling, incineration, disposal remain unaddressed. Meanwhile, the ban on use still will not lead to the disappearance of plastic. Besides, the EBA proposal on the introduction of realistic transition periods for the entry into force of the new requirements was not taken into account. The business representatives proposed to envisage a longer transition period, which would allow both the sale and the production of plastic bags to adapt and less painfully switch to the new requirements. At the same time, the provisions of the Law currently stipulate that the ban on the use of plastic bags will take effect in 9 months, which, according to business, is insufficient. According to business, it is necessary to extend the entry into force of the draft law to 1.5 years, as the selection of a supplier of packages, which will meet the new requirements and appropriate labeling, should be done on the basis of tenders and in accordance with bylaws, etc. At the same time, a small exception is currently provided for plastic bags used for packaging and/or transporting fresh fish, meat, bulk products, and ice. Plastic bags can be used for such products, but only until January 1, 2023. Also, business representatives have many questions about how the implementation of the new Law will be monitored. Besides, EBA member companies have fears that the use of plastic bags will be banned only in organized shops and supermarkets but will not be controlled on spontaneous markets. At the same time, the EBA has always advocated the creation of equal, fair, and transparent rules for doing business in Ukraine, including the ban on the use of plastic bags. Another issue of particular concern is the introduction of biodegradable packages, which, in the absence of separate collection, sorting, and composting systems in Ukraine, actually create a new type of waste that can be disposed of exclusively by high-temperature incineration. Under the worst scenario, this kind of packaging will end up in landfills. Therefore, business welcomes the steps taken by the authorities to gradually abandon plastic to improve the environmental situation in the country. However, it is important to take into account the business proposals mentioned above. Therefore, the community appeals to the President of Ukraine to revise this draft law.   Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel – EBAUkraine.

On June 1, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Restrictions on the Circulation of Plastic Bags on the Territory of Ukraine” as a whole in the second reading. The European Business Association supports the state’s aspiration to gradually abandon plastic for the sake of the environment. Meanwhile, the community has a number of comments and suggestions that business encourages to take into account in the further implementation of this initiative.

For example, the EBA experts proposed to include in the draft law provisions on the possibility of further use of recycled plastic bags in retail, catering, and the service sector. After all, the recycling industry is just beginning to emerge in Ukraine and needs state support. Therefore, in our opinion, it is important to promote the development of the recycling and production of processed raw materials, for example, plastic bags, and not to introduce a ban on their use. Therefore, the EBA proposed not to extend the ban to recycled plastic bags with content of secondary raw materials of at least 50%.

Moreover, there is still an urgent need in Ukraine to develop framework legislation on waste management. Without it, unfortunately, the issues of recycling, incineration, disposal remain unaddressed. Meanwhile, the ban on use still will not lead to the disappearance of plastic.

Besides, the EBA proposal on the introduction of realistic transition periods for the entry into force of the new requirements was not taken into account. The business representatives proposed to envisage a longer transition period, which would allow both the sale and the production of plastic bags to adapt and less painfully switch to the new requirements. At the same time, the provisions of the Law currently stipulate that the ban on the use of plastic bags will take effect in 9 months, which, according to business, is insufficient. According to business, it is necessary to extend the entry into force of the draft law to 1.5 years, as the selection of a supplier of packages, which will meet the new requirements and appropriate labeling, should be done on the basis of tenders and in accordance with bylaws, etc.

At the same time, a small exception is currently provided for plastic bags used for packaging and/or transporting fresh fish, meat, bulk products, and ice. Plastic bags can be used for such products, but only until January 1, 2023.

Also, business representatives have many questions about how the implementation of the new Law will be monitored. Besides, EBA member companies have fears that the use of plastic bags will be banned only in organized shops and supermarkets but will not be controlled on spontaneous markets. At the same time, the EBA has always advocated the creation of equal, fair, and transparent rules for doing business in Ukraine, including the ban on the use of plastic bags.

Another issue of particular concern is the introduction of biodegradable packages, which, in the absence of separate collection, sorting, and composting systems in Ukraine, actually create a new type of waste that can be disposed of exclusively by high-temperature incineration. Under the worst scenario, this kind of packaging will end up in landfills.

Therefore, business welcomes the steps taken by the authorities to gradually abandon plastic to improve the environmental situation in the country. However, it is important to take into account the business proposals mentioned above. Therefore, the community appeals to the President of Ukraine to revise this draft law.

 

Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel EBAUkraine.

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