Image Source: https://www.themayor.eu/
On Thursday 15 July, the Croatian Parliament announced that it has adopted the Waste Management Act. According to a press release, the act was approved by a majority vote, with 75 votes in favour, 2 abstentions, and 43 votes against.
Prohibiting the sale of single-use plastic products
In recent years, many countries and governments have begun to adopt laws banning or reducing the sale and use of plastic products. Now, Croatia has joined them with its adoption of the Waste Management Act which seeks to ban the sale of single-use plastic products. Some examples of these products include cotton buds, straws, and cutlery made of plastic.
Taking this further, the act states that a marketing ban on lightweight plastic carrier bags will be implemented as of 2022. However, it must be noted that very lightweight plastic carrier bags will be excluded from this ban. What is more, a marketing ban will also apply to products with plastic lids or stoppers from 3 July 2024.
According to the Croatian Parliament, states and counties will now be responsible for drafting a waste management plan. Prior to the adoption of this new law, only local government units have been obliged to outline such plans.
Protecting the environment
The Waste Management Act carries tremendous significance as the ban on single-use plastic products will reduce pollution and protect the environment. The use of such products typically lasts only a few minutes whilst their decomposition can take hundreds of years. Moreover, some types of plastic are non-degradable.
By banning the sale of such products, the Croatian Parliament is further encouraging citizens to make more sustainable choices. More specifically, it urges them to switch to reusable rather than disposable items. Taking a case in point, one can easily opt for metal straws instead of ones made from plastic.