At the end of August after a delay of almost two months, Romania transposed EU Directive 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment through enactment of Government Ordinance 6/2021 on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
According to the Ordinance, ten product categories will no longer be permitted on the market. The banned products include ear sticks, disposable plates and cutlery, balloons and related sticks, food packaging, plastic beverage glasses, other beverage packaging, cigarette filters, plastic bags, plastic packaging, wet wipes and other plastic hygiene products.
According to Romanian officials, stores stocking these products may continue to sell them until stock depletion, but can no longer put new quantities on the market and must gradually replace them with biodegradable products.
Some exceptions have been permitted for plastic products used in the medical field, while other products earmarked for personal and household use must bear a clear, legible and indelible mark on its packaging or directly on the product, informing customers of the appropriate waste management options or of the means of disposal that must be avoided for that product. The product must also specify the presence of plastics in the composition of the product and any negative impact on the environment resulting from the disposal of the product or from other inappropriate means of disposal.
The Ordinance also calls for a gradual reduction of certain single-use plastic products, such as beverage glasses (including lids) and food containers (boxes with or without lids) used for foods intended for immediate consumption.
The companies that place them on the national market are obliged to reduce the quantities as follows: 5% for 2023, 10% for 2024, 15% for 2025 and 20% for 2026 with 2022 as the base year.
For more details on plastic and packaging regime in Romania, access our CMS Expert Guide https://cms.law/en/int/expert-guides/plastics-and-packaging-laws/romania.