Russia to Ban Most Disposable Plastic Items by 2024

ON 09/03/2021 AT 07:58 AM

A senior Russian official declared on September 2 that the country will be banning the use of disposable plastic items in the country by just a little over three years from now.

Plastic is a major source of ocean pollution

Common everyday single-use plastic items like bottles and cups are about to be eliminated for use or sale within Russia. Photo: Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

When this happens, Russia will be the first major nation in the world to take such a tough leadership stance on one of the biggest sources of environmental pollution around the world. Much of these single-use plastics eventually find their way into waterways, lakes, and the world’s oceans.

The announcement came via Natural Resources and Environment Minister Alexander Kozlov, in statements made during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. They were released via the state-run TASS news agency.

“We’re proposing to introduce the ban gradually so production can be reorganized,” Kozlov said. “In 2024, the ban should be final."

Kozlov said his organization and the Industry and Trade Ministry are partnering to come up with a list of 28 disposable plastic products which would be no longer available for sale or use by the end of 2024.

Among those goods to be covered in the ban would be:

  • Disposable plastic straws
  • Plastic plates
  • Plastic cups and lids
  • Coffee capsules
  • Cotton swabs
  • Opaque and colored PET (thermoplastic polyester) bottles such as are currently in use for soft drinks, water, and many other products
  • Boxes and packs for tobacco products
  • Blister packaging except in the case of medications
  • Egg cartons
  • Several different kinds of plastic bags
  • Even disposable plastic elements used with certain appliances would be included in the ban.

Besides blocking the sale and use of such products, the government will also take an active role in encouraging alternatives to these currently disposable items.

“We suggest replacing opaque plastic bottles with transparent ones that are easy to recycle,” explained Kozlov at the conference. “Disposable plates can be made from pulp carton; straws can be made of wood or replaced with special paper ones. All these technologies exist and are already being used.”

The ban is a follow-up to a formal pledge Russia signed off on in 2019, in which it pledged to “significantly reduce” their use of single-use plastics by 2030.

The ban will be implemented via formal legislation in the country.

While Russia has a long history of environmental destruction and remains a leading producer of fossil fuels and major contributor to the climate crisis, it is leading in organic and agro-ecological agriculture and other areas of sustainable development. Russian's have a deep connection and reverence for nature that will help them transition to a more sane and sustainable civilization that can survive the climate crisis