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29 November 2017

NEW STANDARDS FOR BIO PLASTIC BAGS

FROM 1 JANUARY 2018, ONLY BIODEGRADABLE AND COMPOSTABLE BAGS WITH SPECIAL FEATURES WILL BE ALLOWED

The so-called “Mezzogiorno” law decree of 3 August 2017 has introduced new requirements concerning the use plastic bags. In addition to confirming what is set forth in the current law, Article 218 contains the definitions of biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.

The new law also includes the use of bags, with and without handles, that must be provided to customers for a fee. It also introduces “tertiary” or transport packaging, which can be divided into the following sub-categories:

  • Light bags that are more than 50 micron thick
  • Ultra-light bags that are more than 15 micron thick

Nothing changes, however, for oxo-degradable SACHETS, whose use was already governed by Legislative Decree 152/2006.

Specifically, Article 9-bis of Decree 91/2017 “Mezzogiorno”, as converted by the law of 3 August 2017, defines the new provisions on lightweight plastic bags, specifying some requirements thereof. Starting from 1 January 2018, therefore, shoppers must comply not only with the UNI EN 13432 international standard (biodegradable and compostable), transposed by national the Uni En 13432:2002 provision, but also have the following properties: 

  • Be made with a quantity of renewable raw material of at least 40% (which will become 50% by 2020 and 60% by 2021);
  • Have suitability for food use;
  • Be sold exclusively for a fee (sale price must be listed on the receipt) 

Certification of the content of renewable raw material takes place is issued by accredited Bodies that detect the minimum percentage of biological-based materials in the bag, in accordance with UNI CEN/TS 16640 standard criteria.

The measure aims to achieve a reduction in the marketing of all other types of light and ultra-light plastic bags and, thus, reduce the environmental impact of this type of industrial production. Those who do not comply with the new decree, or apply elusive marks on their products, will also incur huge economic sanctions.

Plastisac is always careful to comply with the latest regulations regarding a variety of packaging products. As demonstration of this commitment, Plastisac products are already suitable for food use, as provided for by the new decree, and undertaken a journey of corporate renewal, which involves the use of a greater percentage of renewable materials for bags and shoppers, that are increasingly more “green”.

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