Sunday, 2 January 2022

Croatian Plastic Bag Ban Now in Force, Some Shops Will Still Use Them

January the 2nd, 2022 - The Croatian plastic bag ban is now finally in force as the country aims to keep up with the rest of the European Union and its long-stated desire to slowly but surely eliminate the use of harmful plastic to try to better protect the environment.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of January the 1st, 2022, the placing of lightweight plastic carrier bags on the Croatian market has been banned, and the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development has kindly asked people to instead go shopping with a canvas bag or a basket, both of which are very cheap, very useful, and much better for the planet.

This is a ban enforced under the Waste Management Act, and refers to the category of plastic carrying bags with a wall thickness of up to 50 micrometres. Most of what is now in place is linked in a previous article (above), but it's worth going over the finer details once again to make sure people are prepared with canvas and other material bags when going shopping as of now.

The use of very lightweight plastic carrying bags that are thinner than 15 micrometres which is used solely for hygienic reasons or to serve as the primary packaging for bulk food when it helps prevent food waste are still allowed to be used, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development explained.

Lightweight plastic carrier bags, which have already been placed on the market and are in stock by shops and retailers, will be able to be used after the 1st of January 2022 until stocks last to as not to create additional burdensome costs to these facilities, but only with valid records that the bags were placed on the market before that date.

The aforementioned Ministry also stated that this is the category of plastic bags that are typically seen and used on the market, and which due to the poor level of thickness of the bag's walls can't be used repeatedly. This is why such carrier bags significantly pollute the environment and cause tremendous issues for the planet, which the EU is a bloc is stepping up to try to resolve once and for all.

Plastic carrier bags which are thicker than 50 micrometres and that can be reused can still be used and sold, as reusable bags contribute well to waste prevention.

According to the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, very light plastic carrier bags will be placed on the market in markets, bakeries, fish markets, confectioneries, grocery stores, butchers and other places where food is sold, exclusively for placing items in in bulk or for industrially unpackaged food, or food that has previously only been wrapped in temporary packaging, such as foil.

Very light plastic bags will not be able to be used in non-food outlets, such as clothing and department stores, shoe shops, home appliance stores, pharmacies, bookstores and the like.

"Unfortunately, discarded plastic bags have become a very common sight in nature and, based on European Union directives, other forms of plastic carrier bags will be abolished in the future. Until then, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development would like to invite everyone to go shopping from the New Year with their own canvas bags or other material items in which to carry their purchases, such as baskets, and to opt for paper bags and similar alternatives when making purchases,'' the Ministry concluded.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

15-50 Micron Thick Plastic Bags Banned in Croatia as of January 1st

ZAGREB, 1 January 2021 - Single-use plastic carrier bags that are between 15 and 50 microns thick are no longer in use in Croatia as of Saturday, 1 January.

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has called on Croatians to carry cloth and paper bags when going shopping.

The exception to the ban that goes into force as of the first day of 2022, is very light plastic bags with particle sizes under 15 microns. They are used for bulk food.

The use of all other plastic bags will be phased out.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Plastic Bag Ban in Croatia from January 1, 2022: How Will It Look?

December 29, 2021 - A plastic bag ban in Croatia will take effect from January 1, 2021, with bags between 15-50 microns thick the first to go. 

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić stated that plastic bags with a thickness of 15 to 50 microns will no longer be in use from January 1, 2022, and that other types of plastic bags will be phased out in the next period, reports

This includes most of the bags used in everyday shopping.

Asked by reporters about the implementation of the law on waste management related to the use of plastic bags from January 1 next year, Ćorić said that this is a law whose implementation will be delayed to allow producers and distributors to adjust.

"Bags with a thickness of 15 to 50 microns are coming out of circulation, and it is primarily a matter of respecting the directive from 2015, which went in the direction of reducing the use of bags," said Ćorić.

He emphasized that reusable, i.e., canvas and paper bags, is being promoted. However, that nylon, i.e., plastic, has unfortunately become a Croatian reality in nature, and that this should be abolished.

"In the next period, as time goes on, other types of bags will slowly recede. However, that is not the case yet; this is the first step," he said.

Ćorić stated that there was criticism from the public after the decision to withdraw some plastic bags. Still, everyone producing these bags for two years knew that they would ultimately be abolished, i.e., it was communicated two years ago that so-called medium bags would slowly go out of function.

When asked when other plastic bags will be out of use, he said that they are working to make this measure come to life first and then move towards a solution for both ultra-light and reusable bags.

“There are more and more reusable bags in stores, and that is the right direction,” he said.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Complete Lightweight Plastic Bag Ban in Croatia This Year!

April. 30, 2021 - A complete plastic bag ban in Croatia will come into force at some point this year, says Sanja Radović, head of the sector for sustainable municipal waste management at the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development.

How to motivate citizens to get involved in waste separation at home? Bills are a good motivator, according to Sanja Radović, Ph.D., head of the sector for sustainable municipal waste management at the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development.

"If I know that my bill would depend on how much waste I set aside, then I will be highly motivated. If that is not the case, I am afraid that most citizens will say: 'Let someone else do it for me,'" Radović said in an interview for the show "Good Morning, Croatia" on HRT.

The separation of useful raw materials from household waste is significant for the environment. Until 2017, this issue in Croatia was not fully regulated, so a regulation on municipal waste management was adopted, which applies to every Croatian household. According to Radović, Croatia must meet the goal of reducing waste disposal at landfills, which is why the decree brought about a change in the collection method - the more mixed municipal waste is thrown away, the more that will be paid.

"We have to forget everything that was thrown in the landfill for years - we have to increase waste separation and recycling and reduce waste disposal," she notes.

Citizens, she continues, need to know what is going on with their waste and why they are expected to separate it.

"It depends on the type of waste - in Croatia, we have companies that process and recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic. With plastic, it’s a little more complicated because it depends on the type of plastic. Each type of waste has its own processor, and utility companies must hand over waste to them separated by type," she says.

Each local government has its own way of separating waste - it can be bins or larger containers.

"How which municipality and city will organize it is their business. What must be separated is paper in one bin, biowaste in another, mixed waste in a separate one, and other packaging in another," Radović explains, adding that each municipality and city must hire municipal wardens in charge of waste control.

The president of the 'Nature for All' association, Ana Rosandić, says that it is useful to know that the remains of raw food are separated into biowaste. At the same time, thermally treated waste is thrown into mixed waste. Caps are a different type of plastic from liter bottles and the ‘safest’ form of plastic and can be recycled to, for example, make children’s toys. Disposable masks should go to infectious waste, but since this is not available to citizens at their doorstep, they can be separated into mixed waste.

When it comes to plastic bags, Radović says that we distinguish between lightweight and very lightweight.

"You can get lightweight carrying bags in the store or buy them at the checkout, and very lightweight ones are for vegetables and fruits, which are torn from the roll. Croatia has been charging for lightweight plastic bags for several years to reduce consumption. What the new law on waste management, which is still in the process, brings this year, is a complete ban on lightweight plastic bags - it will no longer be possible to buy them," says Sanja and notes that the new measure was adopted because the waste reduction goals have not been achieved. Instead of plastic bags, it is recommended to use your own canvas bags.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 4 November 2019

Kaufland First Retailer in Croatia to Ban Plastic Bags

November 4, 2019 - Kaufland will be the first retailer in Croatia to stop the sale of lightweight plastic bags. The new rule will take effect from January 1, 2020. 

Aiming to reduce plastic in the environment, Kaufland Croatia has decided to completely ban the sale of lightweight plastic bags in all of its stores in Croatia, reports N1 on Monday.

According to the Ordinance on Amendments to the Regulations on Packaging and Packaging Waste, lightweight plastic bags are plastic carrier bags with a thickness of fewer than 50 microns. At Kaufland, these bags can currently be purchased at the checkout register for 80 lipa and 1 kuna. However, as of January 1, 2020, these plastic bags will no longer be available to Kaufland customers, who will instead be able to choose from several other types such as paper or canvas bags, the retailer said on Monday.

"We are proud to be the first retail chain in Croatia that decided to do something for a cleaner and healthier environment and ban the sale of plastic bags,” said Patrick Rudat, CEO of Kaufland in Croatia.

In addition to banning plastic bags, as of January 1, Kaufland Croatia will also pull the sale of disposable plastic utensils and cutlery, as well as plastic sticks and straws, and replace them with alternative sustainable solutions. 

Recall, with the new Sustainable Waste Management Act by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which should be adopted in the second quarter of 2020, it will be impossible to place some disposable plastic products on the market, 24 Sata reported back in September.

The list includes cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, straws, beverage stirrers, balloon holders, food containers, styrofoam cups, and oxo-degradable plastic products that later decompose into invisible microplastics. The product list may also be expanded, depending on the results of the consumption reduction measures for items like plastic bags.

Specifically, on January 1, 2019, the implementation of measures to reduce the consumption of lightweight and very lightweight plastic bags began, and manufacturers and sellers are required to submit information to the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Fund about the quantity of bags placed on the market. In May 2020, we will also have results from the implementation of these measures, which also includes the mandatory payment for plastic bags and educating citizens. The EU's deadline for banning these products is July 3, 2021.

Vecernji List wrote back in 2017 that the estimated annual consumption of carrying bags in the Republic of Croatia is around 8000 tons. According to the European Commission recommendation that the EU Member States use bags that weigh an average 8.5 grams, it follows that the annual consumption of bags in Croatia is about 954,000,000 bags, or 212 bags per capita per year.

According to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, which opposes such a ban, 8200 workers in 700 companies worked in the plastics and rubber industry last year. Production increased by 50% from 1990 to last year. Two years ago, we exported plastic worth $437 million. Furthermore, the Croatian Chamber of Economy published data that the analysis of the European association PlasticsEurope showed that if the plastic packaging for food was eliminated, the weight of the packaging would quadruple, the energy consumption would increase by 50 percent, there would be 60 percent more waste and twice the greenhouse gas emissions.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.