Opposition calls for dealing with problem of plastics in the production process

Zagreb - Members of the parliament on Wednesday agreed that plastic and plastic products were becoming one of the most serious environmental problems, with some of them asking why the problem was not being dealt with at source, in the production process.

Why doesn't the EU simply solve the problem with bans on the production of plastic, which is the most harmful for human health, asked MP Ružica Vukovac (For a Just Croatia) during a debate on changes to the Law on Materials and Articles Intended to Come into Direct Contact with Food.

Health Ministry State Secretary Tomislav Dulibić said that work has been underway on "a ban on the most harmful plastics", to which MP Vesna Vučemilović (Croatian Sovereignists) said that plastic production was not being reduced because of the huge profits plastic producers and large multinational corporations using plastic packaging for their products were making.

Some 20 corporations are responsible for most of the plastic produced, she said, adding that nobody dared tell those companies to start using other types of packaging.

"We have never heard that from our so-called Green parties either, from (Zagreb Mayor Tomislav) Tomašević, or (MP Sandra) Benčić, we have never heard them say Coca Cola should stop using plastic and use returnable glass packaging instead," she said, calling on them to tell companies operating in Zagreb that they would pay higher taxes if they insist on single-use plastic packaging.

The legislative changes, which, among other things, regulate in greater detail the obligations of business operators that recycle plastics that comes into contact with food and raise the level of safety for consumers, were supported by both the parliamentary majority and the opposition.

Andreja Marić (SDP) called for more frequent inspections, while Renata Sabljar Dračevac (Social Democrats) asked how many plastic-recycling businesses there are.

There are two such operators, said Dulibić, stressing that there is a sufficient number of laboratories for plastic analysis as well as inspectors, announcing that more will be hired if necessary.

He also assured MPs that the competent institutions regularly check goods coming from third countries.

They check not only the quality of food but also of toys and consumer goods, before they are put on the market, and subsequent inspections are conducted as well, said Dulibić.

Author: Hina