Serbia will completely ban the use of thin plastic bags and introduce a mandatory payment for biodegradable bags, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has announced.
As stated by Politika, the Ministry is going to implement all the measures of the European Directive on plastics, adopted in February this year, although Serbia is not the member of the EU.
The maximum annual consumption of plastic bags will be limited to 90 per person by the end of 2019, according to the Directive.
The Ministry says it has ongoing communication with large retail chains in Serbia, as well as non-governmental sector, all in mutual attempts to influence the environmental awareness of citizens regarding this issue.
According to the unofficial estimates, Politika writes, some EUR 20 million are spent every year for plastic bag purchase in Serbia. Cost of one plastic bag averages 1 dinar (EUR 0.008). Citizens spend usually seven bags a day, i.e. 2.555 per year.
Between 30 and 40 percent of these bags end up in garbage, which significantly affects environment.
A few days ago, Delhaize Serbia started a campaign in its 170 Shop & Go shops across Serbia, selling plastic bags 2 dinars each. The goal of this campaign is to reduce the use of plastic bags and thereby protecting the environment.