The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, proposing its Bill on Waste Management, has provided for a ban on disposable plastic bags, as well as plastic bags, used for packing and carrying goods by consumers at retail outlets.
It is reported that the Ministry of Tourism will propose this bill to the Assembly in September this year.
It is planned that this provision of the Law will begin to apply within six months from the date of its entry into force.
In accordance with this Law, fines are provided for non-compliance with this provision for both legal entities and individuals and individual entrepreneurs. Penalties for using plastic bags range from 500 to 20,000 euros for legal entities, from 500 to 6,000 euros for individual entrepreneurs and from 30 to 2,000 euros for individuals.
The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro has taken this step in order to achieve a permanent reduction in environmental pollution with plastic bags. In addition to the negative impact on the environment, plastic waste also has a negative impact on the results in other areas of the country's economy, especially in tourism. The presence of plastic bags in riverbeds and forests, close to roads, is unacceptable for Montenegro as an ecological state and a prestigious tourist destination, which is visited by four times more guests annually than its residents, and the state's income from tourism is more than 1.1 billion euros per year.
Ten years ago, the Ministry of Tourism of Montenegro, as the institution responsible for waste management in the country, began to solve the most important problem of increasing the number of plastic bags using the legislative framework and in accordance with the provisions of the European Union and best practices of developed countries.
“As a result of our actions, today supermarkets in Montenegro mainly use plastic bags with a short decomposition period, while in small stores it is noticeable that the use of packages is constantly increasing,” the Montenegro Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism said.
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