Business supports reducing the use of plastic in Ukraine

24/ 05/ 2019

On May, 21 the EU Council approved a directive forbidding some plastic products in the EU for which there is an alternative. Business in Ukraine also supports the need to fight plastic in order to protect the environment.

In the Verkhovna Rada three bills (№9507, 9507-1, 9507-2) have been registered, which may impose restrictions on the use of plastic bags in Ukraine. The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of hazardous waste from polyethylene.

At the same time, it is necessary to pay attention to several points, which cause anxiety about the correctness of the chosen direction. Firstly, the projects propose a ban on the sale of retail packages, namely, in retail outlets, and not at spontaneous sales points.

Christina Linichenko the EBA Retail Committee manager
Centralized trade is a convenient place to set and use prohibitions, because it can be checked at any time. At the same time, we will be honest, spontaneous markets, the Internet, mobile sales points will not be banned, because control is not carried out there. It is also unclear whether the use of a ban on the sale of packages for retail does not cover services, transportation and other sectors. It is generally discriminatory.

Secondly, the development of a separate bill on the prohibition of the use of plastic bags, without taking into account issues relating to the use of, for example, plastic bottles or boxes, or packaging of other materials is unlikely to contribute to the desired results in the context of reducing environmental pollution. After all, if you look at the experience of the EU, the approach should be comprehensive. Currently, none of the drafts explicitly specifies whether the ban will be applied to products from polyethylene or plastic, for example, cotton wools, coffee caps, plastic plates, tubes, etc.

Thirdly, information support of such changes by the state is extremely important. Consumers should understand that the lack of customary and relatively inexpensive packaging in the form of polyethylene materials and the presence of more costly but eco-friendly alternatives is a requirement in the context of sustainable development of society and responsibility to future generations.

European Business Association members representing retailers are already switching to packaging that will help to protect the environment.

All actions must be comprehensive and consistent, and not torn out of context. One of the proposals from the business community is to ban the production and import of packages in order to prevent their use, which will lead to a ban on their implementation. In addition, it is necessary to give a reasonable time period for the transition to new types of packages and develop an effective system for recycling plastic products.

Business is ready to join the development of the relevant legislation.

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