Manufacturers of plastic bags are preparing for the new regulations.
According to the plan, consumption of the 10-micron plastic bags will be forbidden from the fall, while the ban will concern to 15-micron bags from 2018. Care on the environment and performance of European directives is a luxury – costs will be increased to the customers on packaging material, while adaption of the new requirements are related to the additional investment for market players, especially for some producers, where non-branded parcels occupy 65-70% share.
How will the market take the regulation, will the control effective and what expenses the business has to pay, Mirza Svanidze, executive manager of company “Plastic Production”, cannot predict. Mirza declared to GBC that disposable plastic bags should be replaced by paper bags, but paper bag industry is not well developed in Georgia and the company will have to purchase new equipments in order to compensate the losses caused by the interruption of certain types of plastic bag production.
Plastic Production notes that introduction of the paper bags will increase costs to customers. Cost of 1 kg packaging material will be increased by 1-1.5 GEL and service provider will transfer the costs on the consumers.
“The big supermarket chains “Goodwill “, “Ori Nabiji”,”Nikora”, “Foodmart ” and others, demand 100% biodegradable bags. I think that usage of biodegradable bags must become mandatory at the first stage, as it happened in Europe, and control will be set over their production, so 10 and 15-micron bags will be taken from the consumption gradually. So, transition will be easier and the customers will be more prepared for innovations”, – says Mirza Svanidze and notes that full replacement of plastic bags neither happened in Europe, 60-70% of consumption still accounts for biodegradable bags.
The exact figure, how many plastic bags are used by per citizen is unknown, about 500, while in Europe the figure is less than 190. However, they have taken responsibility on sharp reduction of the figure.
As of the directives issued by the European Commission in 2013 and according to the Act adopted by the European parliament in 2014, plastic bags, with a thickness of 50 microns is less, but their production should be reduced by 50% by the end of 2017, while 80% – by the end of 2019.