The amount of packaging waste is steadily increasing around the world, seriously damaging health, lives, the economy and the planet as a whole. It is precisely for this reason that the EU has decided to step in and tackle the problems associated with the increase in waste and the problems associated with fly-tipping.
In 2019, the EU Parliament and Council Directive 2019/904 on reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products was created. This Directive aims to promote circular economy approaches that prioritise sustainable and non-toxic reusable products and reuse systems over single-use products, with the primary aim of reducing waste. The Directive focuses on single-use plastic products, a list of which can be found here.
Litering or free dumping of waste in Slovakia
In the current Waste Management Programme for 2021-2025, the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic has committed to analyse littering in Slovakia by the end of 2021. However, the analysis has not yet been carried out. There is no comprehensive study systematically mapping littering in Slovakia. Only partial analyses on the composition of littering in different parts of the country are available.
Littering has only been formally implemented in Slovak law on the basis of the Directive, but neither the scope nor the method is specified. Packaging included in the SUP is defined only in general terms as “on the go” packaging.
In Slovakia, guidance from the Ministry of the Environment on record-keeping is awaited so that it is clear what packaging will be covered by littering and who will be the producer of the littered packaging.
How to prevent littering?
First and foremost, it is the awareness of the end consumer of the importance of avoiding loose litter in the neighbourhood. Also important is the design of the packaging itself, its size, minimising foil or other unnecessary packaging parts. Sufficient collection bins in areas where loose waste is generated are also important.
The EU Parliament and Council Directive on reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products can be found here.