Should Plastic Be Banned? Which Country Banned Plastic?

Should Plastic Be Banned? Which Country Banned Plastic?

Plastic waste has become a global environmental problem due to the consequences it has on the Earth, such as environmental pollution, climate change, impacts on human health, and increased economic burdens. Reducing plastic waste requires the cooperation of countries through specific regulations. So which country banned plastic? Let's find out more in today's article.

Related: Single-use Plastic Ban in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

Should Plastic Be Banned?

Plastic bags and single-use plastic products are major threats to the environment. We need to take measures to limit the use of these products to protect the Earth.

Plastic bags are made from polyethylene, a synthetic resin with high durability and water resistance. However, these very properties make plastic bags a hazard to the environment. Plastic bags are very difficult to decompose and can persist in the environment for hundreds of years. When littered, they pollute land, water, and air.

In addition, plastic bags are also dangerous to animals. Many animals have died from swallowing plastic bags or getting entangled in them.

Banning single-use plastics is an effective measure to minimize the impact of plastic waste on the environment. Some countries have issued bans on plastic bags, such as Vietnam.

In addition to plastic bags, there are many other single-use plastic products that are also harmful to the environment, including:

  • Plastic straws: Plastic straws are often used once and then thrown away. They are very difficult to recycle and can clog sewers and rivers.
  • Plastic cups: Plastic cups are often used to hold soft drinks, coffee, milk tea, etc. They are also a type of plastic waste that is difficult to decompose and pollutes the environment.
  • Plastic plates, spoons, forks: Plastic plates, spoons, forks are often used in fast food or picnics. They are also single-use plastic products that are harmful to the environment.
  • Styrofoam boxes: Styrofoam boxes are often used to hold takeout food. They are very difficult to decompose and can release toxic chemicals into the environment when burned.

Individual actions and government initiatives, particularly plastic bans, are crucial in translating environmental concerns into tangible actions. In the next section, we will examine the countries implementing plastic bans and the implications for businesses.

Which Country Banned Plastic?

The global recognition of the detrimental impact of single-use plastic pollution has led to a surge in national and regional regulations aimed at curbing its production and consumption. Each country implements its own unique approach to plastic bans, reflecting the specific environmental challenges and policy priorities.

As mentioned above, plastic bags are one of the most common types of single-use plastic waste and cause severe environmental pollution. Therefore, many countries around the world have issued bans or restrictions on the use of plastic bags. Here is a list of some countries that have completely or partially banned plastic bags:

Legislation

Country

United Nations Regional Group

Notes

Ban

Benin

Africa

Since November 2017.

Ban

Botswana

Africa

Since November 2018.

Ban

Burkina Faso

Africa

Since 2015.

Ban

Burundi

Africa

Since 22 August 2019.

Ban

Cameroon

Africa

Since April 2014.

Ban

Cape Verde

Africa

Since 2017.

Ban

Central African Republic

Africa

Since 2021

Regional ban

Chad

Africa

Banned in N'Djamena.

Ban

Comoros

Africa

Since April 2018.

Ban

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Africa

Since 2018.

Ban

Republic of the Congo

Africa

Since 2011.

Ban

Djibouti

Africa

Regional ban

Egypt

Africa

Banned in Red Sea Governorate.

Charge

Equatorial Guinea

Africa

Charge since 12 December 2019.

Ban

Eritrea

Africa

Since 2005.

Regional ban

Ethiopia

Africa

Ban

Gabon

Africa

Since 2010.

Ban

Gambia

Africa

Since 2015.

Ban

Guinea-Bissau

Africa

Since 2016.

Ban

Ivory Coast

Africa

Since 2014.

Ban

Kenya

Africa

Since 28 August 2017.

Lesotho

Africa

Charge planned.

Ban

Madagascar

Africa

Since 2015.

Malawi

Africa

Bans revoked several times.

Ban

Mali

Africa

Ban

Mauritania

Africa

Since 2013.

Ban

Mauritius

Africa

Since 2016.

Ban

Morocco

Africa

Since July 2016.

Charge

Mozambique

Africa

Since 5 February 2016. Ban to be implemented by 2024.

Regional ban

Namibia

Africa

Banned in protected places. Levy approved but not implemented.

Ban

Niger

Africa

Ban

Nigeria

Africa

Ban

Rwanda

Africa

Since 2008.

Ban

Sao Tome and Principe

Africa

Since 2021

Ban

Senegal

Africa

Since April 2015.

Ban

Seychelles

Africa

Since 2017.

Regional ban

Somalia

Africa

Banned in Somaliland.

Charge

South Africa

Africa

Since 2004.

Ban

South Sudan

Africa

Regional ban

Sudan

Africa

Banned in Khartoum State.

Ban

Tanzania, United Republic of

Africa

Since June 2019.

Ban

Togo

Africa

Since July 2018.

Ban

Tunisia

Africa

Since March 2017.

Ban

Uganda

Africa

Since September 2007.

Zambia

Africa

Ban announced but not implemented.

Ban

Zimbabwe

Africa

Ban

Sri Lanka

Asia

Since 2017.

Ban

Afghanistan

Asia-Pacific

Ban

Bahrain

Asia-Pacific

Since 21 July 2019.

Ban

Bangladesh

Asia-Pacific

Since 2002.

Ban

Bhutan

Asia-Pacific

Voluntary charge

Brunei

Asia-Pacific

Charge

Cambodia

Asia-Pacific

Since October 2017.

Ban

People's Republic of China

Asia-Pacific

Since 2022. Charge applied since June 2008. Replaced by ban, excluding fresh produce markets until 2025. Hong Kong and Macau apply a charge.

Charge

Republic of China (Taiwan)

Asia-Pacific

Since 2003. Ban planned for 2030.

Ban

East Timor

Asia-Pacific

Since 23 February 2021.

Ban

Fiji

Asia-Pacific

Since 2020.

Ban

India

Asia-Pacific

Since 2002. Also banned at regional levels due to poor enforcement.

Regional bans and charges

Indonesia

Asia-Pacific

Charges in 23 cities. Banned in Bali since June 2019 and Jakarta since July 2020.

Charge

Japan

Asia-Pacific

Since July 2020.

Kazakhstan

Asia-Pacific

Ban is being considered.

Ban

Kiribati

Asia-Pacific

Since October 2020.

Regional ban

Kyrgyzstan

Asia-Pacific

Banned in tourist areas. Ban planned for 2027.

Regional ban

Lebanon

Asia-Pacific

Banned in Byblos.

Regional charge

Malaysia

Asia-Pacific

Charges in two states.

Ban

Maldives

Asia-Pacific

Since June 2021.

Ban

Marshall Islands

Asia-Pacific

Ban

Micronesia

Asia-Pacific

Since 31 December 2020.

Ban

Mongolia

Asia-Pacific

Since March 2019.

Regional ban

Myanmar

Asia-Pacific

Banned in Yangon.

Ban

Nauru

Asia-Pacific

Since 23 April 2021.

Ban

  Nepal

Asia-Pacific

Ban

Oman

Asia-Pacific

Since 2021.

Ban

Pakistan

Asia-Pacific

Banned independently in each of the country's provinces and territories from 1994 to 2019.

Ban

Palau

Asia-Pacific

Ban

Papua New Guinea

Asia-Pacific

Since 2016.

Regional ban and charges

Philippines

Asia-Pacific

Banned in select cities of Metro Manila, excluding Taguig, Malabon, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Navotas and San Juan.

Ban

Samoa

Asia-Pacific

Since 2019.

Regional ban

Solomon Islands

Asia-Pacific

Banned in Western Province.

Ban

Republic of Korea

Asia-Pacific

Since August 2018.

Ban

Thailand

Asia-Pacific

Since 2021.

Ban

Tuvalu

Asia-Pacific

Since August 2019.

Ban

United Arab Emirates

Asia-Pacific

Since 1 January 2024.

Charge

Uzbekistan

Asia-Pacific

Since 2019.

Ban

Vanuatu

Asia-Pacific

Since 31 January 2018.

Vietnam

Asia-Pacific

Ban planned for 2025.

Ban

Yemen

Asia-Pacific

Ban

Albania

Eastern Europe

Since 2018.

Ban

Armenia

Eastern Europe

Since 2022.

Ban

Azerbaijan

Eastern Europe

Since 2021.

Belarus

Eastern Europe

Charge is being considered.

Charge

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Eastern Europe

Charge

Bulgaria

Eastern Europe

Ban

Croatia

Eastern Europe

Since 2022.

Charge

Czech Republic

Eastern Europe

Since 2018

Charge

Estonia

Eastern Europe

Since July 2017.

Ban

Georgia

Eastern Europe

Since 2017.

Charge

Hungary

Eastern Europe

Since 2012.

Charge

Latvia

Eastern Europe

Since January 2019. Ban to be implemented by 2025.

Charge

Lithuania

Eastern Europe

Since 31 December 2018.

Ban

Republic of Moldova

Eastern Europe

Since 2021.

Montenegro

Eastern Europe

Ban has been proposed.

Charge

North Macedonia

Eastern Europe

Since 2009.

Charge

Poland

Eastern Europe

Since 2018.

Ban

Romania

Eastern Europe

Since 2019.

Russian Federation

Eastern Europe

Ban planned for 2024.

Charge

Serbia

Eastern Europe

Since 2018. Banned in Belgrade and Novi Sad.

Charge

Slovakia

Eastern Europe

Since March 2017.

Charge

Slovenia

Eastern Europe

Since 2019.

Ban

Ukraine

Eastern Europe

Since 10 December 2021.

Ban

Antigua and Barbuda

Latin America

Regional ban

Argentina

Latin America

Banned in several provinces and cities.

Ban

Bahamas

Latin America

Since 1 July 2020.

Ban

Barbados

Latin America

Since April 2019.

Ban

Belize

Latin America

Since 22 April 2019 (Earth Day).

Regional ban

Brazil

Latin America

Banned in Sao Paulo and the State of Rio de Janeiro.

Ban

Chile

Latin America

Since February 2019.

Ban

Colombia

Latin America

Since July 2017. Charge applied to reusable bags.

Ban

Costa Rica

Latin America

Since 2021.

Charge

Ecuador

Latin America

Since 9 May 2020. Banned in the Galápagos Islands.

Ban

Grenada

Latin America

Since February 2019.

Ban

Guatemala

Latin America

Since 2021.

Ban

Guyana

Latin America

Since 2021.

Ban

Haiti

Latin America

Regional ban

Honduras

Latin America

Banned in the Bay Islands Department.

Ban

Jamaica

Latin America

Since January 2019.

Regional ban

Mexico

Latin America

Banned in 18 states and Mexico City.

Ban

Panama

Latin America

Since 20 July 2019.

Charge

Peru

Latin America

Since August 2019.

Ban

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Latin America

Since August 2020.

Ban

Anguilla

N/A

Since 2018.

British Indian Ocean Territory

N/A

Move from plastic to paper bags planned, method not announced.

Ban

Gibraltar

N/A

Since 2019.

Regional bans and voluntary charges

(Bailiwick of) Guernsey

N/A

Ban in Alderney. Voluntary charge in Guernsey.

Ban

Isle of Man

N/A

Full ban in force from 18 October 2023, including products made from oxo-degradable plastics.

Ban

Jersey

N/A

Ban since July 2022. Reusable bags subject to 70p charge.

Ban

Turks and Caicos

N/A

Since January 2019.

Ban

Dominica

North America

Since 2019.

Regional ban

Bolivia

South America

Banned in La Paz.

Ban

Uruguay

South America

Since July 2019.

Ban

Andorra

Western Europe and Others

Since 2017.

Ban

Australia 

Western Europe and Others

Lightweight plastic bags banned in supermarkets in all states and territories. Initially replaced by reusable thick 15¢ bags in the two major supermarket chains, this was phased out by June 2023. Legislation covering other retailers varies by state/territory.

Norfolk Island has a voluntary agreement with retailers.

Ban

Austria

Western Europe and Others

Since 2020.

Ban

Belgium

Western Europe and Others

Since 2016 in Wallonia, 2017 in Brussels, 2019 in Flanders.

Ban

Canada

Western Europe and Others

Since 20 Dec 2022.

Ban

Cyprus

Western Europe and Others

Since 18 February 2023.

Charge

Denmark

Western Europe and Others

A tax on plastic bags since 1993. There is also a tax in Greenland.

Voluntary charge

Finland

Western Europe and Others

Ban

France

Western Europe and Others

Since July 2016. Also banned in Overseas France.

Ban

Germany

Western Europe and Others

Since 2022.

Charge

Greece

Western Europe and Others

Since 2018.

Ban

Iceland

Western Europe and Others

Since 2021.

Charge

Ireland

Western Europe and Others

Since March 2002, a 0.15 Euro tax has been added to all plastic bags, increasing to 0.22 Euro in July 2007. Since these charges were added, there has been a 90% reduction in the use of plastic bags.

Charge

Israel

Western Europe and Others

Since January 2017.

Ban

Italy

Western Europe and Others

Since January 2011.

Charge

Luxembourg

Western Europe and Others

Ban

Malta

Western Europe and Others

Since 2022.

Ban

Monaco

Western Europe and Others

Since 2016.

Charge

Netherlands

Western Europe and Others

Since 2016. Banned in Aruba, Sint Maarten and Caribbean Netherlands.

Ban

New Zealand

Western Europe and Others

Since July 2019. Also banned in Niue. Ban planned in the Cook Islands.

Voluntary charge

Norway

Western Europe and Others

Charge

Portugal

Western Europe and Others

Since 2016.

Ban

San Marino

Western Europe and Others

Since 1 June 2021.

Charge

Sweden

Western Europe and Others

Voluntary charge

  Switzerland

Western Europe and Others

Banned in Geneva since 2020. Voluntary charge elsewhere.

Charge

Turkey

Western Europe and Others

Also a ban in some regions. Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus also applies a charge.

Charge

United Kingdom

Western Europe and Others

England: 5p levy introduced in 2015. Raised to 10p in 2021.

Charge

United Kingdom

Western Europe and Others

Northern Ireland: 5p levy since 2013. Raised to 25p in 2022.

Charge

United Kingdom

Western Europe and Others

Scotland: 5p charge since 2014. Raised to 10p in 2021.

Charge

United Kingdom

Western Europe and Others

Wales: 5p charge since 2011. Ban proposed.

Regional bans and charges

United States

Western Europe and Others

Banned in twelve states (one de facto) and five territories. Charge in Washington, DC. Bans and charges in several municipalities.

Ban

Vatican City

Western Europe and Others

Since 2019.

Charge

Spain

Western Europe And Others

Since July 2018. Banned in Balearic Islands since 2020.

    North America exhibits a patchwork of regulations on single-use plastics, with initiatives implemented at both the federal and local levels.

    US Regulations:

    • Many states and major cities in the United States have enacted bans or restrictions on specific single-use plastic items, including:
    • Plastic bags: Widespread bans or limitations are in place.
    • Plastic straws: Many states and cities have implemented bans or restrictions.
    • Plastic cups: Some states and cities have banned or restricted the use of plastic cups, particularly polystyrene cups.
    • Plastic cutlery: Bans or restrictions are becoming increasingly common.

    Canadian Policies:

    • Canada has pledged to eliminate single-use plastic waste by 2030 and is actively pursuing this goal through several strategies:
    • Banning specific items: Certain single-use plastics, such as bags, straws, and coffee stirrers, are now prohibited.
    • Investing in alternatives: Research and development of sustainable substitutes for single-use plastics are being actively supported.
    • Promoting recycling: Initiatives are underway to incentivize plastic recycling and raise public awareness of its importance.

    However, there are some important considerations:

    • Plastic ban regulations are subject to change over time. It is crucial to consult official sources for the latest updates.
    • Additional restrictions or bans on various plastic items beyond those mentioned may exist in individual countries.
    • The global fight against single-use plastic waste necessitates a multifaceted approach, with individual nations implementing their own regulations tailored to their specific contexts.

    So, the ban on plastic bags and single-use plastics is not a trend but a tendency that your business can not avoid. What are Impacts of plastic ban on your business? Discover in the next section.

    Impact of Plastic Ban on Business

    The global movement towards banning single-use plastics and embracing eco-friendly packaging is gaining momentum, making it an imperative for businesses to adapt and adopt sustainable practices. This transition presents both challenges and opportunities, particularly for industries heavily reliant on plastic packaging, including food and beverage and retail. They are explained as below.

    • Food and Beverage (F&B)
    The rise of takeaway and delivery services has significantly increased the demand for disposable packaging, often made from single-use plastics. This sector faces a pressing need to shift towards eco-friendly alternatives, such as: Compostable packaging that is made from plant-based materials that break down naturally, reducing environmental impact. Or encouraging customers to return and reuse containers minimizes waste generation.
    • Retail
    Retailers, particularly those dealing with high volumes of products, rely heavily on plastic bags for packaging and carrying goods. Transitioning to sustainable alternatives is crucial, including:
    • Reusable bags: Offering durable and reusable cloth or canvas bags to replace single-use plastic bags.
    • Paper bags: Utilizing paper bags made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials as a temporary solution.

    While the transition to eco-friendly packaging may pose initial challenges, it also presents significant opportunities for businesses, including:

    • Enhanced brand reputation: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability can attract environmentally conscious consumers and boost brand image.
    • Reduced ecological footprint: Minimizing the use of single-use plastics and adopting eco-friendly alternatives reduces a company's environmental impact.
    • Compliance with regulations: As plastic bans and restrictions become more stringent, early adopters of sustainable packaging will gain a competitive edge.

    Overall, the shift towards eco-friendly packaging is not merely an option but an inevitable necessity for businesses to remain competitive and sustainable in the future. By embracing eco-friendly practices, companies can not only reduce their environmental footprint but also enhance their brand reputation and attract a growing segment of environmentally conscious consumers. Embracing this change is not just about adapting to regulations; it's about seizing an opportunity to become a leader in a more sustainable future.

    Conclusion

    Eco-friendly packaging is the inevitable future. F&B and retail industries must prioritize sustainable solutions to minimize environmental impact, enhance brand image, and gain a competitive edge. This shift is not just about compliance; it's about building a thriving future in harmony with the planet.

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