Business news from Ukraine


A bill on limiting the use of disposable plastic products may be registered at the Verkhovna Rada in October, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Roman Abramovsky has said.
According to him, the bill provides for a year after its adoption, a ban on production, import and sale of a number of disposable plastic goods in Ukraine, which are proposed to be replaced with similar ones made from alternative harmless materials, including corn starch.
“From such materials, practically without changing the technology, you can make the same products as from plastic. There will be no big problems for re-equipment of production. We are constantly in contact with business and manufacturers, and most confirm that significant transformations will not be needed […] We came to the conclusion that it is inexpensive, 10-15% of capital investments,” the minister said during a press breakfast in Kyiv on Wednesday.
The bill proposes to limit the use of plastic disposable tableware, cutlery, straws, food containers, lids for drinks containers, sanitary cotton swabs, plastic base-holders for balloons and other products made from polystyrene and oxo-biodegradable plastic.
In addition, special labeling is provided for goods that do not fall under the restrictions (wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarettes with filters).
At the same time, manufacturers of such products are subject to extended liability, in particular, they will be required to recycle a certain share of the plastic produced.
“The discussion about liability is still ongoing, although the bill is already ready for registration. This is a difficult issue, since excessive liability is associated with corruption risks. Today, the following figures are proposed: the primary fine for the provision of prohibited products on the market is from UAH 18,000 to UAH 51,000, repeated violation within one year – from UAH 85,000 to UAH 175,000,” Abramovsky said.
At the same time, the minister noted the lack of statistical information on production of plastic products in Ukraine.

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A group of nine lawmakers from the Servant of the People parliamentary faction has proposed to ban the sale of plastic bags of up to 50 mm thick and oxo-degradable (oxo-biodegradable) plastic bags in the territory of Ukraine from January 1, 2022. Bill No. 2051-1 was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on September 18 and published on Wednesday.
“Biodegradable bags are the main alternative to plastic bags in the world. However, insufficient legislative regulation in Ukraine has led to a conflict when consumers are confused, believing that the bag they buy does not harm the environment,” the lawmakers said in the explanatory note to the document.
The authors said that the degradation of the oxo-biodegradable packages creates a million of microscopic plastic particles that do not disappear anywhere.
According to the document, the ban does not apply to ultralight bags (up to 15 microns thick) up to 225 mm wide (without side folds), up to 345 mm deep (with side folds) and up to 450 mm long (with handles), used as primary packaging for fresh fish, meat and products made of them, bulk products and ice. It also will not apply to biodegradable packages, however, the bill provides for their mandatory labeling in accordance with the National Standard DSTU EN 14995: 2018, DSTU EN 13432: 2015.
The bill provides that non-compliant packages that remain by January 1, 2022 must be disposed of at the expense of the business entity that purchased them.
In addition, it is proposed to prohibit employees of retail and restaurant businesses from somehow inciting consumers to purchase plastic bags.
The bill provides for the introduction of fines for the sale of plastic bags or oxo-degradable packages under the guise of bio-packages, as well as for the incentive to purchase them. The fines will be the amount of 100 to 200 tax-free minimum incomes of citizens (now UAH 17), for repeated violation – from 200 up to 500 tax-free minimum incomes of citizens.
The authors in the explanatory note said that Ukraine has the required capacities for the production of bio-packages, but there is no demand for them yet.
“The ban on the distribution of conventional plastic bags, in addition to the extremely positive impact on the environment, will stimulate demand for the production of biodegradable bags, making them cheaper for the end consumer,” the lawmakers said.