More and more countries say no to plastic and Belarus is one of them. Local authorities have approved an action plan aimed at phasing out the use of polymer packaging and replacing it with the environmentally friendly one, government.by reports.
Starting 1 January 2021 Belarus will introduce a ban on the use and sale of disposable plastic dishes in catering establishments. The list of banned a plastic ware will be compiled later this year.
Other plans include a gradual reduction of the maximum capacity of polymer containers for beer bottling and low alcohol drinks to 1 liter inclusive. Relevant changes should be prepared in 2021.
No imports and biodegradable container
The Ministry of Agriculture, Bellesbumprom, the regional executive committees and the Minsk city executive committee will work on a production of raw materials for biodegradable packaging in 2021–2023.
To make this happen, they will be looking for an investor. The authorities also intend to prepare proposals to limit the import of plastic packaging to Belarus and present them at one of the meetings of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board or Council.
Deposit system and cash incentives
For the current and 2021 years, the authorities intend to introduce a deposit (collateral) system of consumer packaging. Officials also want to use “economic incentives to reduce the use of polymer packaging.”
In the next three years in Belarus also intend to:
- organize a separate collection of waste (secondary material resources) during mass events;
- create facilities for sorting and using solid municipal waste (the processing of polymer packaging waste included);
- increase production capacities for sorting mixed cullet (as available);
- increase the production capacity for the production of glass containers (with the needs of domestic processing enterprises in mind).
The issue of waste management and packaging is under particular scrutiny by the president, the press service of the head of state reported.
“We should avoid the issues facing neighbouring states where people cannot breathe because of numerous landfills and where the soil is poisoned by chemicals for decades,” Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with the leadership of the Council of Ministers on 14 January.
He also stressed that the state of the that environmental protection is of paramount importance and the health of Belarusians is priceless.
What was done?
Authorities have previously adjusted the assortment list of goods that must be available in shops, pavilions and gas stations. These included paper bags, disposable tableware and paper cutlery. At the same time, the authorities reduced the minimum set of packages and disposable tableware made of plastic for trade.
Belarus also decided to increase the fee for the collection of plastic packaging and utensils for manufacturers and suppliers by 2 times – from BYN 180 rubles per ton of plastic to BYN 360. The move is expected to stimulate businesses that use non-environmentally friendly packaging to organize its collection.