Following a number of EU countries, starting from October 1, Georgia will ban the production, import, and sale of polyethylene bags with a thickness of less than 15 microns. New rules are adopted to reduce environmental pollution.
Under the new environmental policy, the Government of Georgia will also prohibit the production, import, and sale of polyethylene bags of any thickness starting from April 2019. Only biodegradable bags will be allowed. Such innovations will ensure the step-by-stem maximum withdrawal of disposable polyethylene bags from use in Georgia.
Ukraine, apparently, is still not aware of all the horror of the problem associated with plastic and waste in general. Because this issue is raised extremely sluggishly at the legislative level. However, since the beginning of 2018, the provision of the Law “On Waste” which prohibits dumping of untreated waste at the landfills and obliges to sort and recycle waste has been enforced in Ukraine.
Maksym Frolov, the Chairman of NGO “All-Ukrainian Organization “Green Fund”. Recovery from Humanitarian and Environmental Disasters”, notes that the national strategy set ambitious goals:
In 2025, Ukraine should dump no more than 50% of waste that is dumped today at landfills. The rest of the waste should be recycled. Moreover, by 2030, only 30% of waste should be dumped at landfills as residual waste.
It is good that the public does not stand aside important environmental issues. More and more initiative groups are formed around the problem of environmental pollution. For example, within the IV International Ecoforum “Water and Energy” in Lviv, the issues of an effective waste management model, modern standards and international experience were raised during the public discussion “The Ukrainian National Solid Waste Management Strategy”.
One of the most important aspects of the national strategy is the development of a separate waste collection system that is the issue of urban infrastructure development. Construction of waste sorting lines is also one of the most important measures. In all European large cities, where the system of separate waste collection operates efficiently, the waste that was collected separately undergoes addition compulsory sorting, then it is formed in commodity batches and delivered to the municipal waste processing complexes, which we still do not have. A compulsory measure is the creation of centers for the alternative construction and demolition waste, the creation of production facilities for alternative fuels (so-called RDF), as well as the construction of a regional landfill, which should be equipped with modern engineering facilities in each region for the needs of each city and region.
Maksym Frolov stresses that, in addition to the waste management strategy, steps should be taken to reduce such waste.
Since plastic bags are one of the most dangerous types of waste, they should be paid special attention. And this important issue for the ecology of the planet must be regulated at the legislative level, – said the Chairman of the Fund.
More and more countries are aware of this problem and impose a ban on the production and sale of plastic products. According to the UN, more than 60 countries have imposed a ban on the use of disposable plastic bags or additional fees for this. The UN called for a global ban on disposable plastic bags by 2022. According to the UN Environment Agency, every year 5 trillion plastic bags are used in the world.
The World Oceans suffers most from plastic waste where about 149 million tons of plastic have been accumulated at present.
The largest amount of plastic waste goes to the ocean from Asian countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines. However, the developed countries dump a lot of plastic waste. For example, the average US resident annually disposes of approximately 120 kg of plastic waste, in Britain, this figure is 76 kg, and in Sweden, it is 18 kg.
In December 2017, 193 countries committed themselves to comply with the UN plan to stop plastic waste disposal into oceans. But now these obligations are not legally binding.
The American scientists have estimated that the total volume of plastic produced by the mankind is 8.3 billion tons. It should be noted that this amount was produced during the past 65 years. For example, 8.3 billion tons are equal to 25 thousand New York’s Empire State Buildings or to one billion elephants.
There is so much plastic waste in the world that it can cover such country as Argentina completely. And what is especially frightening is that over the next decade the amount of plastic in seas and oceans may be tripled if no decisive action is taken.