Albanian ban in effect / Serbian capital to implement restriction on sale of plastic bags in 2020 / Study shows decline in bags in North Sea
In summer 2018, Albania introduced a ban on the production, trade and sale of lightweight plastic carrier bags that are less than 35 microns thick. Non-compliance with the ban will see businesses facing fines. Lightweight plastic bags are still dispensed free of charge at local markets in the country.

As alternatives, the government is promoting reusable and biodegradable bags. These alternative products must be traceable and include the manufacturer's information, among other things. Regular inspections are also planned for companies producing plastic bags.
Belgrade prepares for restriction and fines
The Serbian capital, Belgrade, has also decided to ban the sale of plastic carrier bags from 1 January 2020. Those not complying with the restriction will be fined – approximately EUR 210 for employees, EUR 630 for businesses and EUR 1,260 for legal entities.

Earlier this year, Serbian environmental protection minister Goran Trivan had spoken about a ban on plastic bags being considered by the government – see of 15.05.2018. Trivan says annual per capita plastic bag consumption in the Balkan nation is around 300. He expects per capita consumption of plastic carrier bags to fall to about 150 by the end of 2018.

Nearby Romania restricted lightweight plastic bag usage in 2018 – see of 28.02.2018. A packaging deposit-return system is also under discussion there.
Legislation could reduce marine litter in European seas
A study published in July 2018 by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas, Lowestoft / UK; shows that the amount of plastic bag litter found on the seabed in the North Sea has gone down during the 25-year period until 2017. According to the researchers, the data suggest that legislation against plastic bags use, such as in Ireland in 2002 and Denmark in 2003, could reduce the marine litter problem within decades. However, the study found an increasing amount of other plastic items, including fishing gear, on this seafloor during the same period.
08.11.2018 [240924-0]
Published on 08.11.2018

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