MINSK, 11 May (BelTA) – Belarusians annually dispose of 280,000 tonnes of plastic waste, which is 29.4kg per capita, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.
Packaging waste accounts for more than 140,500 tonnes, or 14,7kg per capita. Only 92,200 tonnes of polymer waste has been collected and recycled. “Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems in the world. Its wide spread and a sharp increase in consumption of plastic goods, package, bags, and single-use tableware leads to a steady annual growth in the amount of plastic waste. According to experts, disposable packaging accounts for 36% of plastic produced in the world. Some 96% of such packaging is thrown away in the first year of use,” the ministry noted.
Belarus is taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic waste. The country is implementing a set of measures aimed at decreasing the use of polymer packaging and substituting it with eco-friendly one. Retail outlets are required to offer non-alcoholic drinks in glass package, paper bags, and single-use paper tableware and to reduce the variety of plastic bags and tableware to a minimum.
The use of some types of disposable plastic tableware in public catering facilities will be banned as from 1 January 2021. The list includes stirring sticks, cups and glasses, dishes, drinking straws, packaging (containers, boxes, trays, lunchboxes, jars, bottles) with the exception of packaging for semi-finished products and confectionery.