Kazakhstan’s retail chains will stop giving plastic (PE) bags to customers for free, Interfax said citing a statement by the Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic, Magzum Mirzagaliyev.

The ministry concluded a corresponding memorandum with the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs and the Association of Environmental Organizations.

“Having studied the experience of the countries, as well as the current market situation, we, having worked out the issue with society, with NPP, decided to sign a memorandum in accordance with which a phased restriction on the implementation of plastic bags in Kazakhstan will be introduced. In fact, it is proposed that the bags will not be handed out for free networks, and sold, “said M. Mirzagaliev at the signing ceremony of the document in Nur-Sultan.

He clarified that we are talking about packages with a density of less than 20 microns, the so-called “T-shirts.” According to him, with this approach, the consumption of plastic and PE is reduced by 30%.

“In general, you understand that the cost of packages today is actually already included in the margins on goods in retail chains. The rejection of packages is voluntary, but it is aimed at the benefit of the environment. We hope that chains and stores will be connected to this action,” he noted.

Meanwhile, according to the minister, it’s still premature to talk about a complete ban on PE packages.

“So far, we have no worthy alternative. We have manufacturers that produce biodegradable packages, but they cannot completely close the entire market. Therefore, a decision was made to phase out,” the minister explained to reporters.

A complete ban, he said, could be introduced in Kazakhstan since 2025.

“A complete ban has been under study since 2025. After we understand how events will live up to expectations, we will make a decision,” he said.

It was noted earlier that back in April of this year, the press service of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in the framework of the new Ecological Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan being developed, considered the issue of a phased ban on the sale of plastic bags of small capacity in retail trade in Kazakhstan.

“The need for this initiative is primarily due to the fact that plastic bags cause serious harm to the environment and human health. A phased ban on the sale of plastic bags of small capacity in Kazakhstan is as follows. At the first stage, a ban on the free sale of plastic bags is proposed. At this The stage should include widespread campaigning among the population about the harm caused to the environment and public health by plastic bags, and the issue of stimulating the production of alternative ecological packaging. At the second stage, a complete ban on their implementation on the territory of the country will be introduced. This restriction on the use of plastic bags will be introduced after a comprehensive and detailed study of the issue, “the release said then.