On December 10, the law "On Restricting the Circulation of Plastic Bags on the Territory of Ukraine", or rather its first stage, will come into effect in Ukraine.
"In particular, free distribution of plastic bags will be prohibited in shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, catering establishments, and the service sector. Except for the biodegradable bags, as well as ultra-thin plastic bags that are the primary packaging for fresh fish, meat and products therefrom, bulk products, and ice. Administrative and economic sanctions will be applied to violators of this requirement," the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources states.
Ruslan Strelets, Acting Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine said that the primary task of the law is to prevent the formation of plastic waste.
"The use of plastic bags will become balanced, and Ukrainians will gradually get used to buying bags only when they really need it. This means that less garbage will be produced, which will then end up in the landfill and get into the environment. The practice that is now being imposed in Ukraine is not new. Europeans live according to similar rules, dozens of countries around the world have imposed similar restrictions. And we are also moving along a civilized path," he noted.
Violators will be fined in the amount of 1,700 to 3,400 UAH for the free distribution of plastic bags. In the case of a repeated violation within a three-year period—from 17,000 to 34,000 UAH.
Context. On June 7, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed Law No. 2051-1 "On Restricting the Circulation of Plastic Bags on the Territory of Ukraine." According to the document, from January 1, 2022, the distribution of oxo-degradable (oxo-biodegradable) bags will be prohibited in Ukraine. From March 2022, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, and cafes will no longer offer visitors thin bags with a wallside thickness of up to 50 microns. As an exception, biodegradable and ultra-thin bags will remain in circulation as primary packaging for fish, meat, bulk products, and ice—until 2023. During this period, more sustainable alternatives should appear.