Plastic ban approved

03.07.2020 - 12:40
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: A. Torsdalen - NRK
The sale of single-use plastic cutlery, plates, straws and cotton wool buds will be banned in Iceland from 3rd July next year. A ban on polystyrene food and drinks containers is also being considered.

Changes to the law on sanitation and pollution prevention were passed by Alþingi earlier this week before parliament split for its summer recess. 

As well as cotton buds with plastic rods, plastic cutlery, plates, and straws, it will also be prohibited to sell plastic cocktail stirrers and plastic balloon rods/holders. 

As part of the rule change, food shops, restaurants, and fast food establishments will have to either stop serving food and drink in single-use plastic packaging or start charging for it. 

The only exemption to the single-use plastic rule is items classed as medical equipment. 

A blanket ban on the sale of oxo biodegradable plastics is also part of the new law. Such plastics have become increasingly popular in recent years but are actually harmful to health and the environment, according to the environment ministry. This ‘green’ plastic is a growing problem around the world. 

Finally, it will become compulsory to mark single-use plastics with safe disposal instructions and information on the damage plastic can do if it enters the natural environment. Among the products that will need to bear the new information are wet wipes, several tobacco products, sanitary products, and plastic cups. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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