Sale of Single-Use Plastic Products Banned in Croatia from July 1, 2021

Daniela Rogulj



November 19, 2020 – The sale of single-use plastic products banned in Croatia next summer – a look at what that means from July 1, 2021. 

Vecernji List reports that the sale of disposable plastic products such as light plastic bags, q-tips, cutlery, plates, straws, and beverage mixing sticks will be banned in Croatia from July 1, 2021. This is determined by the new Law on Waste Management, the proposal of which was prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development following EU directives.

Under EU directives, Member States have an obligation to ban the sale of single-use plastic products until July 3, 2021, and Croatia has decided to do so on the first day of July next year. This will ban the sale of oxo-degradable plastic products, balloon-attached sticks, and plastic food containers made of expanded polystyrene, such as boxes with or without lids used to hold food intended for immediate consumption that doesn’t require any further preparation such as baking, cooking, or heating.

From July next year, containers and beverage cups made of expanded polystyrene, including stoppers and lids, will also be banned. One of the most important innovations, which many will feel when shopping is the ban on light plastic bags. These are carrying bags with a thickness of more than 15 and less than 50 micrometers. Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and the Council on reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products with measures for disposable plastic products, which include a ban on selling them, was adopted last year.

EU directives set new, higher goals for waste separation and recycling by 2035, which were also implemented in the new Croatian Law on Waste Management, which is now being adopted. Thus, at least 55 percent of the mass of municipal waste must be recovered by recycling and preparation for reuse by 2025, while that percentage is 60 percent by 2030 and 65 percent by 2035. Also, the amount of municipal waste disposed of in landfills must not exceed 10 percent of the total municipal waste mass produced by 2035. And according to the latest preliminary calculation of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development for the municipal waste separation rate in Croatia, in 2019, it was about 37 percent, which is an increase of six percent compared to 2018.

As for the disposal of municipal waste in Croatia, more than 60 percent is still disposed of in landfills. The bill stipulates, among other things, that 77 percent of the weight of beverage bottles, including their caps and lids, placed on the market during the year must be collected separately by 2025 to recycle disposable plastic products separately. That percentage by 2029 must be 90 percent. On the other hand, companies and entrepreneurs can be satisfied with the novelty of the law, which abolishes the obligation to appoint a commissioner for waste management and a deputy commissioner for legal entities that employ 50 or more persons. Also, the obligation to obtain a certificate of training in waste management is abolished for these persons. These certificates will no longer be required for directors, i.e., natural persons who manage the public service provider to collect mixed municipal waste.

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