Kazakhstan to phase out use of plastic bags
Kazakh Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev, Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Chairman Ablai Myrzakhmetov and head of the Association of Environmental Organizations of Kazakhstan Aigul Solovyeva reached a memorandum of cooperation in making plastic bags chargeable, aiming to bring their use to 20 FIBCs and gradually switch to alternative environmentally friendly types of packaging, the Strategy2050.kz correspondent reports.
The memorandum adds responsibility upon the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs to carry out outreach to phase out the use of plastic bags, including charges. The sides are also expected to encourage production of biodegradable organic bags.
The Ministry works towards a common position on the size of recycling for manufacturers (importers) of plastic bags.
According to Mirzagaliyev, Kazakh residents, volunteers spoke up for such an initiative.
“Such mechanisms for cutting down the number of plastic bags which are bad for environment have been continuously echoed by activists. So, this memorandum is one of the first steps on the way to reach that goal”, he said.
About 15 million plastic bags of different types and density are used each year across the country. 11.2% of the total garbage is polymers, including plastic bags.
He says that the world community is actively engaging in scaling down plastic products as over 40 countries have already been at various stages to ban the use of plastic bags. In Germany, Denmark, Czechia, Uzbekistan the free distribution of plastic bags is prohibited, while the USA, China, Italy, Australia, Pakistan, Georgia, Kenya and others ban to use, distribute, manufacture and import plastic bags.
The Minister has outlined that making the distribution of plastic bags chargeable curbs their use by 70%.