Bulgaria: Throwaway Plasticware Banned in Burgas
Most of the coffee vending machines and restaurants in the coastal city of Bourgas already offer biodegradable utensils and food packaging. The reason is a new European directive that bans 8 types of plastic products throughout the European Union, including in Bulgaria this summer. A municipal decision has not yet entered into force, but as of July 3, the single-use plastic products are banned.
Bourgas is one of the first cities that gradually decided to replace PVC packaging with cardboard.
"If we want a future for us, our children, our friends, we must do everything necessary to protect nature," said restaurant owner Georgi Mitsov.
From July 3, most plastic products will be banned or severely restricted across the country. Cutlery, plastic plates, straws, stirrers, food boxes and even earplugs remain in history.
"I hope it will be welcomed by Bulgarian consumers and set a new beginning, because after all this is the planet of our children. We must make it a better place to live," said manager Alexandra Milcheva.
Our team entered a disposable supplies shop. We are looking for PVC cups, but we find only cardboard and biodegradable.
The products are made of cellulose - wood. We do not cut forests to produce utensils. They are from residual wood products - sugar cane, bamboo and corn starch," explains Milcheva.
However, how much will coffee cost from the vending machine, for example?
"Of course, there is a difference in price, but it is not extremely large, by 5-10% maximum. A massive plastic cup of 200 ml costs 1 cent. The same cardboard one costs 3 cents," she said.
The local administration is looking for various incentives for business. One of them is the so-called "blue label", which will be placed on establishments involved in the initiative to reduce polymer waste.
We will promote on our websites, they will have a distinctive mark in "Go To Burgas". We think that this is a good initiative and will also have a much greater effect, the environment around us will be much cleaner," the Deputy Mayor of Burgas Municipality, Vesna Baltina, said.
And some of the restaurants have long ago stopped using plastic items when delivering food to the home.
Other establishments use bags of cornstarch dispensable material for deliveries. Placed in water, it disintegrates within days, owners say. And they remind - the plastic bag decomposes in 400 years. That is why they call: let us look after nature!/BNT
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