The president’s entourage has recently been actively using the thesis that Volodymyr Zelensky is fulfilling his election promises. Perhaps this is due to rumors that Zelensky is going to run for a second term: the implementation of most of the program is a good trump card in the elections. Analysts of the “Slovo i Delo” publication suggest not to take the word of either the authorities (about dizzying successes) or the opposition (about catastrophic failures), but to study factual. Once the PSU paid such close attention to the presidential program, we will recall what important obligations it had. Today we will talk about two interrelated promises “to introduce sorting and recycling of waste” and “Ukraine will give up plastic.”
World experience suggests that limiting the use of plastic bags is not so difficult. In some countries – France, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa – it is forbidden to distribute such packages. Greece and Sweden have introduced an ecological sales tax. In Georgia, Kenya, Botswana, Bangladesh, not only the production and distribution, but also the import of plastic bags is prohibited.
Our Verkhovna Rada is now at the beginning of the path in this struggle. In November 2019, in the first reading, the deputies adopted the draft law “On limiting the circulation of plastic bags on the territory of Ukraine.” It is proposed to prohibit the use of:
ultralight plastic bags;
light plastic bags up to 50 microns thick;
oxo-degradable (oxo-biodegradable) plastic bags.
The restrictions will not apply only to ultra-light plastic bags with a wall thickness of up to 15 microns and dimensions of 225x345x450 mm, which are used as primary packaging for meat, fish, bulk products. They will be banned from 2023, when an alternative appears on the market.
The ban on plastic bags should take effect nine months after the law was passed. Alternatively, it is suggested to use biodegradable and paper bags, reusable bags. Distribution of plastic bags will be fined.
The bill states that Europe’s goal is to use up to 90 packages per person per year and gradually reduce this figure. In Ukraine, there are now 500 packages per person per year.
However, in the second reading, the bill was not adopted, but sent back for revision. Now he has reappeared in parliament and wanders from one plenary week to another, and remains without consideration. Due to quarantine and coronavirus, the deputy’s hands simply do not reach him.
The Ministry of Ecology, in response to a request from “Word and Deed”, also reminded that the bill “On Waste Management” was sent for a second first reading. After its final adoption, amendments to the legislation regarding European approaches to plastic waste management will be worked out.
Everything is complicated with the second promise of the president – sorting and recycling of waste. Zelenskiy is not the first one who came up with such an idea: the local authorities have been promising to build waste processing and waste sorting complexes in their regions for more than a year.
They are looking for investors in Kiev and Dnipro for the implementation of the project for the construction of waste processing plants. In Poltava, Mayor Oleksandr Mamai promised to build a plant by 2025, and a project is being developed now.
In Sumy, Ivano-Frankovsk, Zhitomir, Vinnitsa and Odessa there are already investors for the construction of waste processing plants. The authorities of Kherson are negotiating with a potential investor, and in Chernivtsi they are just considering the possibility of construction.
The Ministry of Ecology, speaking about the results of resolving the issue of sorting and processing waste, also refers to the draft law “On Waste Management”. It provides:
introduction of a waste management hierarchy;
introduction of the polluter pays principle;
creating opportunities to attract investment in the construction of waste processing plants;
legislative framework for short-term and long-term planning of waste management.
The ministry noted that the adoption of the bill will create conditions for the construction of waste processing plants and the appearance of waste sorting facilities in the country.
There are two more bills under consideration by parliament that will help reform this area – “On waste of electronic and electrical equipment” and “On batteries and accumulators.”
So, it cannot be said that the fulfillment of these two promises of the president is standing still, but it is hardly possible to realize them in one cadence. As for plastic, so far we are only talking about limiting the use of bags, and not about abandoning them. In the issue of processing and sorting waste, a lot rests on the cost of building factories – you need to look for investors. We doubt that in the coming years some kind of mass construction of waste processing plants will begin in Ukraine, but it is quite possible that they will prepare a legislative basis.