Russia & Eurasian Economic Union To Ban Disposable Plastics By End March 2021

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  • Exporters to Russia and the EAEU nations need to get into packaging compliance fast  

The member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU): Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, intend to introduce a phased ban on the use of disposable plastic bags.

This followed meetings between EAEU members concerning consumer waste recycling. The draft strategy plan, suggesting the abandonment of single-use plastic, is expected to be approved by the end of March, according to the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

The strategy envisages an introduced, phased ban on the import and production of single-use plastic, including bags. The EAEU has previously stated as part of its development schedule to 2025 that “One of the most important areas of economic cooperation between the EAEU member states is to join efforts to implement joint large-scale high-tech projects, including in the field of green technologies and environmental protection.”

However, such a ban needs to address the environmental and economic impacts, considering possible alternatives. This means calculating the environmental friendliness of products and materials from the point of view of the entire life cycle, and not just the recycling stage, the Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasized. In the EAEU member states, there are developments in terms of banning the production and consumption of single-use plastic.

Plans to introduce a complete ban on the sale of plastic bags have already been adopted by Armenia from 2023 and Kazakhstan from 2025. In Kyrgyzstan, it is proposed to ban the use of plastic bags and plastic containers in the Issyk-Kul region. In Belarus, since the beginning of this year, there are restrictions on the use of disposable tableware at certain catering facilities.

The issue is likely to impact international businesses exporting products to Russia and the EAEU countries, and who will now need to examine the regulatory aspect and begin to devise alternatives.

 

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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