Albania bans non-biodegradable plastic bags

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 4, 2018 16:53

Albania bans non-biodegradable plastic bags

TIRANA, July 4 – New rules on businesses involved in the production, trade and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags came into force this week under a ban Albania is imposing in a bid to protect the environment from one of the key sources of pollution in the country.

Albania’s environment minister Blendi Klosi says businesses importing, producing or trading plastic bags less than 35 microns in thickness risk facing fines between 1 million to 1.5 million lek (€7,900 to €11,800) starting next week after new rules became effective on July 4.

The ban makes Albania the first regional country to stop the use of lightweight plastic bags.

Tax inspectors say they will conduct field inspections on some 70 companies involved in the production of plastic bags starting next weeks before moving to inspect supermarkets and smaller stores, which currently commonly offer those kind of plastic bags free of charge.

Only few supermarket chains currently charge fees on plastic bags following a 2017 initiative to promote reusable eco-friendly bags.

Environmental officials say plastic bags account for 5 percent of the country’s pollution and are one of the main concerns for local government units, often triggering flash floods due to blocking sewer systems and manholes.

Plastic bags and other wrapping often ends up in the environment, polluting streets, rivers and the countryside across the country, hampering Albania’s emerging tourism industry.

In a bid to protect the environment, Albanian officials also plan to discipline circulation of old cars and scrap collection points.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 4, 2018 16:53