Фото: архива на Мета.мк

Single-use plastic shopping bags are banned in North Macedonia, effective today, the 1st of December 2021. The shoppers will have to opt for reusable bags or buy biodegradable thin shopping bags in grocery stores and everywhere else at the price of MKD15 (slightly less than €0.25).

This is just one novelty enacted by the amendments of the 6 laws which serve to regulate the waste treatment and the waste from packaging in North Macedonia.

According to the amendments, the stores will be allowed to sell only biodegradable bags produced in accordance with certain standards that in turn will lower the pollution that is caused by plastic bags. The goal of the legal changes is to motivate people to create new habits for the use of bags made of ecofriendly materials that can be used many times, thus lowering the environmental fingerprint.

Starting from the next month, the traders will be obliged to keep evidence of the quantities of bags sold and report to the Ministry of Environment. The profits from the sales must be transferred to a special account of the ministry.

Also, starting today, with the changes in the package of laws on waste, ban is enforced on any kind of single-use plastic packaging in the catering facilities in the protected areas throughout North Macedonia.

The amendments of four out of six laws on waste, the Law on waste management, the Law on managing the packaging and the waste from packaging, the Law on managing with additional waste processes and the Law on extended responsibility for the producer for managing the special waste processes were adopted by the Parliament in September. In August, the Law on batteries, car batteries and the Law on electric and electronic equipment and waste electric and electronic equipment were adopted.