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Saeima approves disposable plastic products ban

The Saeima supported the Law on reducing the consumption of plastic products, which will prohibit certain plastic items to be placed on the market starting July 3, the Saeima press service said May 27.

The Law provides that the manufacturer will not be able to place the following disposable plastic products on the market in Latvia:

  • cotton swabs,
  • cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks),
  • plates,
  • straws,
  • beverage stirring sticks,
  • cups and sticks for holding balloons.

It is also planned to ban packaging of food and beverages made from foam polystyrene, lids and bottle caps, drink glasses and their lids, and disposable and reusable articles made from soluble plastic.

The manufacturer is obliged to offer non-plastic products to consumers or to sell reusable plastic articles instead.

On the other hand, producers of drink packaging are expected to impose requirements on the quantity of recycled material, including at least 30% of recycled plastic packaging as from January 1, 2030.

Disposable plastic products will be sold if they are placed on the market by July 2 this year.

Plastic goods will not be banned if they are manufactured for medical devices. Nor will the changes apply to food packaging for dried food, including packaging for raw meat, as well as primary packaging that sells food in more than one portion. The requirements will not apply to exports to third countries.

As of July 3 this year, manufacturers and traders are expected to label certain disposable plastic-containing products: hygienic packages, tampons, wet wipes, tobacco products with filters and filters intended for use with tobacco products, as well as drink glasses.

The government will have to set criteria for the classification of articles containing plastics according to their one-off and re-usability, as well as other requirements.

The draft law also provides for administrative responsibility for infringements, including failure to offer alternatives to products containing disposable plastic.  A natural person is expected to face a warning or a fine of up to €175 and a legal person can face a warning or a fine of up to €350.

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