At the end of 2020, Malta issued two important regulations on the management of plastic products. One is about prohibiting disposable plastic products from being placed on the market, and the other is for lightweight plastic handbags (or transport bags)-“Lightweight Regulations on Restriction of Placing Plastic Handbags on the Market. The regulation also clarifies:from January 1, 2021, it is prohibited to import, purchase (within the EU) and manufacture any lightweight plastic handbags in the course of commercial activities; from January 1, 2022, it is prohibited to be in commercial During the event, supply any lightweight plastic handbags for distribution, consumption or use to the Maltese market (regardless of whether it is reimbursed for free).
This regulation is Malta’s implementation of the relevant requirements of the EU Directive (EU) 2015/720 on the reduction of the consumption of lightweight plastic handbags, and the relevant management requirements of the directive will be officially effective in Malta. It is managed by the Malta Environment and Resources Administration and Customs Departments jointly implement supervision.
1. EU Plastic Bag Management Directive
Plastic bags provide great convenience for people’s lives due to their clean weight and resistance to degradation, and also promote the rapid spread of plastic bags in the environment. According to the European Commission’s Q&A on the use of plastics, it is estimated that about 98.6 billion plastic handbags were put on the EU market in 2010, which is equivalent to 198 per EU citizen per year, which is equivalent to 1 per day per European household. More than one plastic bag. Of these 98.6 billion bags, approximately 90%are lightweight bags. The annual per capita consumption of plastic bags varies greatly among member states. The per capita consumption of Denmark and Finland is about 4, and the per capita consumption of Poland, Portugal and Slovakia is estimated to be 466. Because they are not restricted by relevant legislation, plastic bags once avoided the waste management flow, and continued to accumulate in the environment, especially in the form of marine debris. Once discarded, plastic bags can be stored for hundreds of years, and more and more evidences show that they pose a serious threat to marine ecology and the survival of animals such as fish and birds.
In May 2015, the European Union issued a directive (EU) 2015/720 aimed at reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic handbags. This directive amends the European Union’s directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, which aims to solve the problem of unsustainable consumption and use of lightweight plastic handbags (that is, plastic handbags with a wall thickness of less than 50 microns). One of the top ten garbage. At this point, the European Union officially included plastic bags in the management of packaging and packaging waste.
The directive requires member states to take measures, such as national emission reduction targets and/or economic measures (such as fees, taxes) and sales restrictions (bans). Ensure that by December 31, 2019, the annual consumption of lightweight plastic handbags per person does not exceed 90; by December 31, 2025, the annual consumption of lightweight plastic handbags per person does not exceed 40 or set Set an equivalent weight goal. Member States are not allowed to impose sales restrictions (bans) on plastic handbags with a wall thickness of more than 50 microns (that is, reusable packaging bags), but are free to take other measures to reduce their consumption, such as economic measures or other countries’ reduction measures, And it is strongly recommended that member states report their consumption to the European Commission.
Second, Malta’s transformation of the EU plastic bag directive and management requirements
In accordance with the requirements of the EU Plastic Bag Directive (EU) 2015/720, Malta has transformed its management requirements for plastics into relevant environmental protection and product safety legal documents and related subsidiary regulations, mainly related to the”Environmental Protection Law” ,”Product Safety Law” and”Waste Management (Packaging and Packaging Waste) (No. 2 Amendment) Regulations.” These laws and regulatory documents have clearly transformed the requirements of the EU Plastic Bag Directive, and officially incorporated the management of plastic bags into the scope of packaging and packaging waste management.
The “Regulations on Restrictions on the Placement of Lightweight Plastic Handbags on the Market” defines lightweight plastic handbags as:plastic handbags with a wall thickness of less than 50 microns. However, there are several types of plastic bags that are not in the scope of this regulation, mainly including the following three categories:
(1) Ultra-light plastic bag:plastic transport bag with a wall thickness of less than 15 microns, used for sanitary purposes, or provided as the main packaging of bulk food when it helps prevent food waste;
(2) Biodegradable and compostable plastic bags:plastic tote bags certified by an accredited conformity assessment agency that meet the requirements of the harmonized standard EN 13432:2000 on compostable and biodegradable recyclable packaging;
(3) Reusable plastic tote bag:a plastic tote bag that can be used multiple times. Such handbags should be labeled in accordance with the requirements of Article 8a of the European Directive 94/62/EC.
Anyone who violates or fails to comply with the prohibited content required by this law shall be a crime upon conviction.
The first conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand five hundred euros (€1,500);
The second or subsequent conviction is punishable by a fine not exceeding 2500 Euros (€2,500).
At present, for the EU Plastic Bag Directive (EU) 2015/720, most EU member states have transformed and formulated their own management regulations (according to the introduction of the EU’s introduction to the transformation of national regulations:only Bulgaria, Germany and Finland have not yet formulated ). Malta’s management measures for plastic bags have also become clearer with the”Regulations on Restrictions on the Placement of Lightweight Plastic Handbags on the Market”. By the end of 2021, the European Commission will submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council to assess the effectiveness of measures taken by member states in combating littering, changing consumer behavior and promoting waste prevention. At that time, we will learn more about the actual effectiveness of Malta and other EU member states in implementing this ban. Foodpartner.com reminds plastic bag processing and export companies to pay attention to the follow-up interpretation and technical analysis of thepartner.com.