Restrictions on the use of plastic bags to be imposed in Georgia
07 July, 2017
New regulations to reduce the use of plastic bags will be introduced in 2018. As the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources informs, Parliament has begun to discuss the package of legislative amendments, which aims to introduce legal regulations for reducing the use of plastic bags in Georgia.

According to their assessment, the necessity of introduction of these regulations was caused by the sharp rise in the use of plastic bags in the country, which in turn has created a
significant problem for the environment.

"As it is known, most of the environment is damaged by wastes from plastic products, especially for single-sized plastic bags that are widely used in everyday life. With it, the plastic bag represents a product obtained from the processing of petroleum products and residual plastic substances that require more than 100 years for complete disintegration. It is worth taking into consideration that according to 2014 data, one citizen of Georgia consumes 525 single plastic bags on average, for example, the average indicator in Ireland is 14 plastic bags, in Denmark and Finland - only 4. Since consumption of plastic bags is a global problem, many countries have developed certain regulations to reduce their consumption. Regulations for use of plastic bags were applied not only in developed, but also in developing countries. In many European countries, certain restrictions are applied to the use of plastic bags, in some countries it is completely prohibited to use plastic bags, as a result, the use of plastic bags and the negative pressure on the environment significantly decreased," the statement reads.

According to the Ministry, the draft amendments to the "Waste Management Code" have been prepared, taking into consideration the above mentioned circumstances and international practice, the technical regulations will be adopted, which will set limits on the rotation of plastic bags of a certain thickness.
In particular, at the first stage, the import, manufacture and sale of less than 15 micron plastic parks will be prohibited, as well as technical requirements will be determined for the ingredients of the biodegradable bags.

According to the Ministry, the draft amendment to the "Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia" was prepared along with the above, according to which violation of the requirements of the Technical Rules of import / manufacture and sale of plastic bags on territory of Georgia will be defined as administrative offense, which will result in fining individual entrepreneur by 500 GEL, confiscating the relevant products.

According to the ministry, consultations were held beforehand in the Ministry with the main producers of plastic bags in Georgia, with its importers, distributors and they expressed their readiness to introduce regulations in the mentioned field. Entrepreneurs will need to take some measures to adapt to their new regulations, so that the entry into force of the bill is envisaged in 2018.

"As a result of new regulations, the use of plastic bags will be reduced in the country and the turnover of European standard biodegradable bags will be ensured, which will significantly reduce the environmental pollution with plastic waste and promote the country's ecological improvement," the statement reads.