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25 May 2020, 19:18

Belarusian scientists to research biodegradable materials, packaging

MINSK, 25 May (BelTA) – The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus intends to do some R&D work to determine the most promising, environmentally and economically advisable technologies for making biodegradable materials and packaging made of them, BelTA learned from Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Aleksandr Korbut during the international scientific conference Sakharov Readings 2020: Environmental Problems of the 21st Century.

According to the minister, plastic pollution is one of the pressing environmental problems. The share of plastic waste grows every year due to rising living standards and the constantly growing production and consumption of plastic products. Belarusians generate about 280,000 tonnes of plastic waste per annum or 29.4kg per capita. Waste packaging makes up about 140,000 tonne of the total (14.7kg per capita).

The Council of Ministers passed a resolution on 13 January 2020 to authorize an action plan on gradually phasing out plastic packaging and replacing it with environmentally friendly one. The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry is in charge of coordinating the work.

The use of certain kinds of disposable plastic tableware will be prohibited in the Belarusian public catering industry as from 1 January 2021. Measures have been taken to provide economic incentives for manufacturers and distributors of goods in environmentally friendly packaging. A number of government standards to enforce requirements for environmentally friendly packaging, including biodegradable packaging, will be worked out. Belarus has initiated amendments to the Customs Union's technical regulation on safe packaging. Alternative solutions for replacing plastic goods and introducing new promising technologies are being sought.

The international scientific conference Sakharov Readings 2020: Environmental Problems of the 21st Century is meant to unite efforts of leading scientists and practitioners, university professors, postgraduate students, and university students from various countries in order to evaluate the impact of technological advancement on the environment and work out measures to reduce the negative effect of mankind on the environment. The conference has been organized by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Chernobyl Catastrophe Mitigation Department of the Emergencies Ministry, the Public Council of the CIS Ecological Education Base Organization, the Belarusian State University, and the International Sakharov Environmental Institute of the Belarusian State University.

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