By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan is striving to minimize negative effects of people's lifestyle on nature and ecology.
The country will ban the use of disposable plastic bags up to 20 microns thick, the head of the public relations department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan, Umaira Tagiyeva told Report.az
"I think that the measures we will take in this area will be supported by the population. It is planned that the use of such packages will be banned in the very near future," said Tagiyeva.
She noted that every year 24 kilograms of plastic waste accounts for a citizen of the country, according to statistics. Tagiyeva added that, according to the State Customs Committee, compared with 2009, the production of plastic bags in Azerbaijan has almost doubled, and their imports increased by almost five times.
Tagiyeva also said that in some European countries, 0 to 19 kg of plastic waste accounts for every resident of the country. The representative of the Ministry of Environment added that almost all of these countries have already created a legal framework to limit and prohibit the use of plastic bags, they are working on their recycling.
In Denmark, for example, a special tax was introduced, after which the demand for disposable packages fell by 90 percent, while in Italy their use has been banned since 2011, Tagiyeva concluded.
More than 1,000 plastic bags are used by average Azerbaijani citizen every year. Meanwhile, the number of plastic bags used worldwide is estimated at 1 trillion annually.
Non-compostable plastic bags take 500-1,000 years to degrade. They hurt children, animals and damage nature. Despite this, we use plastic bags in tones, collecting them in our houses.
Ecologists have called for banning production and usage of the plastic bags in Azerbaijan.
Plastic bags production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption. Just imagine that the amount of petroleum used to make 1 plastic bag would drive a car about 11 meters. Meanwhile, trillions of these bags are produced annually around the world.
Europe is now imposing taxes on the plastic bags. In Ireland, usage of plastic bags has decreased by almost 90 percent a few months after the introduction of the tax in 2013.
Azerbaijan can also use this system. There are also other ways to find a way out – production of bio-plastic bags that are made of plastic that decomposes in natural conditions. But the most effective way is to switch to reusable bags.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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