Environmental ban on packaging 

December, 2023 - Boris Pribylov

On November 15, 2023 the Ministry of Industry and Trade has submitted to the authorized departments for approval a draft governmental decree (“Decree”) banning the use of polymer goods and packaging waste from which is not recyclable or inefficiently extracted. In case the draft Decree receives positive feedback, it will undergo further consideration in the Russian government and subsequently adopted.

What will be banned?

The list is not publicly available as of the current moment, and it is not clear when it will be finally adopted, but, according to press publications, the document includes a list of 23 types of packaging, 6 of which are proposed to be limited as of 2024, and the remaining 17 items — as of 2030.

Contemplated to be banned as of 2024:
  • translucent PET bottles of all colours, except blue, green, brown, and black (these colours preserve the consumer properties of products and increase the shelf life),

  • opaque PET bottles, with the exception of white containers for dairy products (where the colour has a functional purpose), as well as PET packaging made using PVC labels that interfere with recycling,

  • multilayer PET bottles, coffee capsules made of multicomponent materials, and plastic containers for canned food with a rolled metal lid.

Contemplated to be banned as of 2030:
  • multicomponent Bag-in-Box packaging,

  • flexible vacuum packaging doypacks, flowpacks, multilayer toothpaste tubes,

  • multicomponent bags in the form of a jug,

  • polymer sachet bags up to 80 mm,

  • nets for vegetables and fruits, food packaging made of expanded polystyrene, etc.

Consequences of the reform

The mentioned amendments may have** material influence** on both:

  • Russian manufactures of goods;

  • Foreign manufacturers and importers of their products to Russia both from the member and non-member states of the EAEU.

Amendments may require substantial changes in manufacturing processes and re-equipment of production lines, as well as development of new production methods. In this regard, we would recommend keeping an eye on the further development of this Decree and other requirements related to the EMR.

Aim of restrictions

Thus, the contemplated measures should stimulate the transition from opaque PET containers to transparent ones, from multilayer materials to single-layer ones, and from multicomponent to monomaterial ones, which will facilitate the processing of these materials. According to the public discussions, further reforms in this regard are underway.

The planned reform is conducted in line with the developing of the extended manufacturer's responsibility (“EMR”) system, which was adopted on August 4, 2023 by the amendments (“Amendments”) to Federal Law No. 89-FZ dated June 24, 1998 “On Production and Consumption Waste”. The EMR system was introduced in Russia in 2015 in order to create an incentive for manufacturers and importers to recycle waste from the use of goods and packaging that they market in the territory of the Russian Federation.

We will keep you updated on the development of the EMR system in Russia, and our team is ready to provide you with full legal support in this regard (from advising on the applicable requirements to communicating with Russian state authorities and filing necessary documents).


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