Czech govt. approves bill to ban 'absurd overuse' of plastic products by July

The ban would mainly affect single-use plastics such as cutlery, plates, drinking straws and cups from polystyrene.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 26.01.2021 08:21 (updated on 26.01.2021)

The Czech government approved a bill banning single-use plastic cutlery, plates, and drinking straws, which will be valid from July. The legislation, passed on to the parliament, is a transposition of a European directive approved in 2019.

The bill, discussed on Monday, also regulates the duties of some manufacturers of plastics. It was presented to the government by Environment Minister Richard Brabec.

The directive is to reduce plastic waste in seas and oceans where it jeopardises ecosystems, biodiversity and human health. It is also another step supporting circular economy within the EU.

"Above all, the bill bans the introduction of selected plastic goods at the market and their circulation," the Environment Ministry said in its report.

The ban will mainly affect single-use plastic products such as cutlery, plates, drinking straws and cups from polystyrene.

"The new law wants to lower the absurd overuse of many thousands of tonnes of single-use plastics a year, especially from fast food establishments and mass events," Brabec said in a press release today.

"If it relates to the ban of selected single-use products, there are a number of reusable alternatives to them. As a result, we can save millions of pieces of plastic products annually. Besides, this will help people treat better plastic waste. Municipalities will receive a contribution to clean public space," Brabec added.

The bill sets down the deadline by which the products may be put into circulation. Thanks to this, the manufacturers can sell the rest of their reserves.

The ban on placing the selected products on the market is to be valid as of July, while the total ban on having them circulating is to take effect after one year at the latest.

In the case of some plastic products such as sanitary napkins and filtered tobacco products, the manufacturers must inform the clients of their correct disposal after their use. The manufacturers of some products must also warn the users of the access to alternative, reusable goods.

The legislation also demands the introduction of the systems of enhanced responsibility of manufacturers for selected plastic goods.

It contains the targets for the collection of plastic packaging for beverages. By 2025, this is to amount to 77 percent of the weight of the packaging placed on the market or circulating and the proportion is to rise to 90 percent by 2029.