MINSK, 21 January (BelTA) – Belarus intends to phase out plastic containers for drinks with the capacity of more than one liter, Vadim Demko, head of the waste management department of the waste management, biological and landscape diversity directorate at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, said during a media event at BelTA's press center as he spoke about the Council of Ministers' Resolution No.7 of 13 January 2020 that lays down the plan for gradual transition to eco-friendly packaging.
“Plans are in place to limit the maximum capacity of containers for alcoholic, low-alcohol, and non-alcoholic beverages to one liter. I believe this will be achieved by the end of the next five-year term or even sooner. To achieve this we should amend technical regulations,” Vadim Demko noted. He pointed out that Russia, for example, banned sale of beer and other alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles larger that 1.5 liters in 2017.
Starting from 2021, Belarus will introduce new restrictions on plastic use. “The plan provides for banning some types of polymer packaging starting from 1 January 2021. At present, the government together with other stakeholders is compiling the list of types of polymer packaging that will fall under the ban. We hope that the list will be ready in the first half of this year,” Vadim Demko noted.
The whole world is working to transit to eco-friendly packaging and the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry fully supports this trend, Vadim Demko said. Large retail chains already offer multi-use packaging as an alternative to single-use plastic bags. “Gradual transition from polymer packaging is underway. Of course, we will aim at 100% substitution, but it is still early to speak about deadlines for this,” Vadim Demko added.
He also spoke about regulating prices for paper bags to make them as economically attractive as plastic bags, saying that this matter is also in focus.
The plan stipulates the launch of a deposit-refund system for collecting cans, plastic and glass packaging.
The plan also provides for producing eco-friendly packaging, including biodegradable, carrying out research to determine the most promising technologies to produce eco-friendly packaging, and reducing production and import of polymer packaging.