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There should be a more comprehensive approach to plastic bag waste management

28/ 05/ 2021
  Recycled bags should be an alternative to plastic bags. Surely, business supports the states intention to gradually abandon plastic for the sake of the environment as the period of natural decomposition of plastics reaches several hundred years. Waste recycling is an important aspect of the global agenda. For the purpose of reducing harmful substances emission, recycling would be the main way to solve the problem of plastic pollution, as recycling processes produce additional products for other industries, and creates less pollution. The recycling industry is beginning to emerge in Ukraine, but recycling plants work without support from the state. Therefore, it is important to foster the development of a new and promising industry for recycling and production of processed raw materials, rather than limiting the use of plastic products only. The approach should be more systematic and comprehensive. Currently, as of today, draft Law №2051-1 On Restrictions on the Circulation of Plastic Bags on the Territory of Ukraine has already been prepared for the second reading. However, the European Business Association calls for the revision of this draft law. The EBA experts believe that the Draft Law needs to include provisions on the use of recycled plastic bags. In other words, to prohibit the distribution of ultra-thin, thin, and oxo-decomposable plastic bags in retail, catering, and other service outlets. It is impractical to extend the ban to recycled plastic bags with a secondary raw material content of at least 50%. Besides, the EBA continues to insist that regulations prohibiting the use of plastic bags should be fair and equal for all businesses. For example, in our opinion, the situation when the use of plastic bags will be banned only in organized shops and supermarkets but will not be controlled on the spontaneous markets is unacceptable. Another crucial point is the introduction of realistic transition periods so that both the trade sector and the plastic bag industry can adapt and move to meet the new requirements quite smoothly. Besides, the draft law introduces so-called biodegradable plastic bags, which can be decomposed only under special conditions - industrial or domestic composting. To ensure the disposal of these packages in this way, it is necessary to create conditions for their separate collection, as well as to equip composting stations. All these requirements, which are stipulated in the Framework Draft Law №2207-1-d, are currently absent in the current regulatory framework. Therefore, business representatives see the potential risk of possible accumulation of biodegradable plastic bags in landfills due to improper management of this type of waste. Moreover, the environmental friendliness of biodegradable plastics and packages has recently been increasingly put under question. It is the non-compliance with composting conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.), as well as the release of large amounts of CO2 during decomposition that turns a seemingly environmentally friendly solution into another problem that will also need to be addressed later. Therefore, the European Business Association appeals to Dmytro Razumkov, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, heads of relevant committees and factions to take into account the above proposals, as well as to consider revising the Draft Law to harmonize it with EU principles and develop comprehensive legislation.   Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel – EBAUkraine.

Recycled bags should be an alternative to plastic bags.

Surely, business supports the state’s intention to gradually abandon plastic for the sake of the environment as the period of natural decomposition of plastics reaches several hundred years.

Waste recycling is an important aspect of the global agenda. For the purpose of reducing harmful substances emission, recycling would be the main way to solve the problem of plastic pollution, as recycling processes produce additional products for other industries, and creates less pollution.

The recycling industry is beginning to emerge in Ukraine, but recycling plants work without support from the state. Therefore, it is important to foster the development of a new and promising industry for recycling and production of processed raw materials, rather than limiting the use of plastic products only. The approach should be more systematic and comprehensive.

Currently, as of today, draft Law №2051-1 “On Restrictions on the Circulation of Plastic Bags on the Territory of Ukraine” has already been prepared for the second reading.

However, the European Business Association calls for the revision of this draft law.

The EBA experts believe that the Draft Law needs to include provisions on the use of recycled plastic bags. In other words, to prohibit the distribution of ultra-thin, thin, and oxo-decomposable plastic bags in retail, catering, and other service outlets. It is impractical to extend the ban to recycled plastic bags with a secondary raw material content of at least 50%.

Besides, the EBA continues to insist that regulations prohibiting the use of plastic bags should be fair and equal for all businesses. For example, in our opinion, the situation when the use of plastic bags will be banned only in organized shops and supermarkets but will not be controlled on the spontaneous markets is unacceptable. Another crucial point is the introduction of realistic transition periods so that both the trade sector and the plastic bag industry can adapt and move to meet the new requirements quite smoothly.

Besides, the draft law introduces so-called “biodegradable” plastic bags, which can be decomposed only under special conditions – industrial or domestic composting. To ensure the disposal of these packages in this way, it is necessary to create conditions for their separate collection, as well as to equip composting stations. All these requirements, which are stipulated in the Framework Draft Law №2207-1-d, are currently absent in the current regulatory framework. Therefore, business representatives see the potential risk of possible accumulation of biodegradable plastic bags in landfills due to improper management of this type of waste.

Moreover, the environmental friendliness of biodegradable plastics and packages has recently been increasingly put under question. It is the non-compliance with composting conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.), as well as the release of large amounts of CO2 during decomposition that turns a seemingly environmentally friendly solution into another problem that will also need to be addressed later.

Therefore, the European Business Association appeals to Dmytro Razumkov, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, heads of relevant committees and factions to take into account the above proposals, as well as to consider revising the Draft Law to harmonize it with EU principles and develop comprehensive legislation.

 

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

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