Plastic bags to be banned in Romania

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The Romanian Government has adopted a draft bill to ban plastic bags in Romania, as the European Commission requests. The draft bans stores and supermarkets to introduce plastic lightweight plastic bags below 50 microns and very thin bags under 15 microns on the national markets as of July 1, 2018. These bags will be banned from being sold as of January 1, 2019.

Those who will not observe the law will face fines ranging from RON 15,000 to RON 25,000.

Besides, stores selling products in reusable packages will be compelled to receive packages in exchange or to give back the value of the recipient.

According to the Jaspers study „Assessment of the impact of various economic instruments on the quantities of waste recycled/recovered and diverted from landfills in Romania” – „Proposed changes to improve the efficiency of current economic instruments in Romania”, mentioned in the substantiation note of the government resolution, there is no reduction of these types of packages since the environment tax has been enforced.

The Commission urged Romania and Croatia on Thursday to complete the enactment of EU waste legislation into their national laws (Plastic Bags Directive, Directive (EU) 2015/720). In view of tackling resource waste and littering, Member States had to adopt measures to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags as required by the Plastic Bags Directive by 27 November 2016. The Directive obliges Member States to achieve this by putting a price on lightweight plastic carrier bags, and/or introducing national reduction targets. National governments can choose from among a list of measures to achieve the commonly agreed objectives. These include economic instruments, such as charges or levies. Another option is national reduction targets: Member States must ensure that no more than 90 of these bags are consumed per person a year by the end of 2019. By the end of 2025, that number should be down to no more than 40 bags per person. Both options may be achieved either through compulsory measures or agreements with economic sectors. It is also possible to ban plastic bags provided those bans do not go beyond the limits established by the Directive in order to preserve free movement of goods within the European Single Market. The Commission verifies by way of priority whether the Member States have fulfilled the obligation to transpose this Directive. Today, the Commission sends a reasoned opinion to Croatia and Romania for continued failure to notify the Commission of their measures. These Member States now have two months to reply to this reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the Member States to the Court of Justi

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