TALLINN - The board of the Riigikogu on Tuesday accepted a government-initiated bill that would restrict the use of plastic bags in Estonia.
The amendment would transpose into Estonian law the EU directive dealing with the use of plastic bags, which seeks to ensure that the annual consumption level does not exceed 90 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by Dec. 31, 2019, and 40 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by Dec. 31, 2025. The deadline for transposing the directive was Nov. 27, 2016.
When the amendments to the Packaging Act take effect, stores must make available to customers alternatives to plastic bags, such as paper bags, textile and mesh bags, and multiple-use plastic bags.
The ban would apply from 2019 to free handouts of bigger plastic carrier bags, such as those handed to buyers in large numbers at the checkout lane during sales campaigns. An exemption will be made to smaller lightweight plastic bags used for the packaging of foodstuffs, such as meat or vegetables, or for hygiene purposes when buying milk packaged in a sealed plastic bag.