April 4, 2024

Feasibility Study Reveals Environmentally and Economically Viable Alternatives for Single-use Plastic Across All Relevant Sectors in Georgia

Feasibility Study Reveals Environmentally and Economically Viable Alternatives for Single-use Plastic Across All Relevant Sectors in Georgia

The Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (RECC), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and financial backing from the Government of Norway, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA), conducted a feasibility study for alternatives to single-use plastic products under the initiative “Transitioning from Single-Use Plastics to Environmentally and Financially Viable Alternatives in Georgia.”

The study encompasses findings from two perspectives – environmental and financial. Its primary objective is to harmonize findings from two analytical studies, aiming to identify environmentally friendly alternatives that are economically viable and accessible within the national context. By merging the findings of these studies, the intention is to select alternatives that will facilitate a seamless transition and propel the country towards a more sustainable and circular future.

On April 3rd, key stakeholders, including representatives from MEPA and other relevant government agencies, donor parties, and the private sector, convened for an in-depth discussion regarding identified environmentally and financially viable alternatives to single-use plastics. The objective was to reach consensus on alternative options for various SUP items and ensure that all relevant parties remained informed throughout the process.

“As Georgia progresses towards European integration, the significance of adhering to EU standards and legislation becomes increasingly apparent. I am confident that this project will assist in aligning national legislation on single-use plastics with the requirements of the European Union.” – Solomon Pavliashvili, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.

“Given the significant increase in single-use plastic consumption in Georgia over the past decade, it’s crucial to prioritize projects tackling this issue. We need to work together to combat plastic waste and protect our environment for future generations.” – Douglas Webb, Resident Representative a.i., United Nations Development Program in Georgia.

“Project is being implemented with funding and support from the Norwegian government, as supporting environmental initiatives is a special priority for us. We believe that progressive waste management practices, particularly the banning of single-use plastics, are crucial for Georgia.” – Rebecca Lie, Deputy Head of Mission at Norwegian Embassy in Georgia.

To combat the ever-growing issue of plastic pollution, the European Union (EU) adopted Directive (EU) 2019/904 on June 5th, 2019, on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. The recent approval of Georgia’s candidate status by the European Council on December 14th marks a significant milestone in its journey towards European Union integration, underscoring the country’s commitment to adopting European values and norms, including aligning future regulations with EU standards.

Increased consumption of single-use plastics is particularly pertinent in the Georgian context. Over the past decade, the import of single-use plastic products in Georgia has nearly doubled, reaching 8,277 tons in 2023. Furthermore, the usage of raw plastic materials within the country has tripled since 2014. These alarming statistics underscore the urgent need for action to mitigate plastic pollution and address the ever-growing environmental challenges associated with single-use plastics. 

Single-use plastics are increasingly recognized as a significant environmental concern due to their persistent presence in ecosystems worldwide, posing threats to biodiversity and human health.