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EU: Disposable plastic products can no longer be sold; in Romania, implementation is delayed

2 July 2021

Although the European Directive on limiting the impact of plastics on the environment enters into force on July 3, 2021, so that disposable plastics will no longer be able to be marketed in the Union, in Romania its implementation is delayed.

In the case of Romania, at present, Directive (EU) 2019/904 on limiting the impact of plastic products on the environment, adopted two years ago by the European Parliament, has not been transposed into national legislation, according to Agerpres. An Emergency Ordinance in this regard is waiting to be approved by the Government.

“We are discussing an extremely important and urgent issue. Theoretically in a few days we should have had this normative act in force. We are not in the stage where we can approve the final version, but I understand from colleagues that there have been many discussions … We need to see how we manage to link this period when everything is allowed to the period when most of these products will be banned from both producers and their placing on the market and from the stocks that traders or producers have. We are working on a normative act, an ordinance, by which, at least at festivals, we will ban the use of these products that are in the Directive from this summer, I think it would be a good, positive signal”, the Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests said.

The official reported that “he did not receive much signals or support” from the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Economy does not know how to calculate the impact or consequences of the manufacture of these plastic products.

“I haven’t received any signals or support from the Ministry of Health either, although those cigarettes and filters that are practically single-use are somehow, in a way, in the yard of the Ministry of Health. Economy Ministry, as it happens in Romania usually, does not know how to calculate an impact or the consequences of banning the production of these plastic products. Without the institutional approach, we have the obligation to implement the Directive and make the transposition during the summer.This can be done by an Emergency Ordinance, if we move fast enough and we have an ok from the associations, from the producers, from the whole spectrum affected by the transposition of this directive. We may wait a little longer for the come back of the Parliament in September, for it to enter the standard parliamentary procedure. This will create a risk of penalties, of infringement from the Commission. We are not the only country that is not ready with this procedure, but I would have liked to be among those who resolved these issues within the set time, or before the deadline set for transposition,” the minister said.

European Commission (EC) data show that disposable plastic products have a major negative impact on the environment and human health, with 70% of waste found in European waters and beaches being plastic.

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