Over 1.3 million employees within the public institutions in the country will selectively collect the packaging waste, starting with this autumn, following the adoption of a law to this end and following the start of an information and awareness campaign.
The campaign, bearing the name “Law 132/2010 – Public institutions collect selectively” is organized by the Environmental Commission within the Chamber of Deputies, Association Green Revolution, with the support of the Environmental Guard, National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), Eco-Rom Ambalaje and Association Green Area.
It starts with a pilot project in six public institutions. Precisely, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Administration, the Senate and the Presidency. Starting with the autumn season they will selectively collect the packaging waste, directly, appointing a person responsible for it or indirectly, assigning the responsibility to a specialized operator.
According to the law which became effective in August, all the wastes collected in this way will be recycled. The legislative initiative also stipulates fines. Thus, according to the explanations of the president of the Environmental Commission within the Chamber of Deputies Sulfina Barbu, who is also the initiator of the law, the financial penalties start from 500 lei and may get up to 10,000 lei.
The fines are divided according to different categories: between 500 and 1,000 lei for the managers of the institutions which do not ensure the proper carrying out of the project or which do not conclude a contract for waste disposal and between 5,000 and 10,000 de lei for the operators which do not take over the selectively collected waste or take it over unsorted.
Ecological Education from Tip to Toe
The system will be implemented in all local institutions subordinated to the central institutions in which the pilot project is initiated.
“If a part of these measures will also be implemented at home, then we can say that the law will educate in the ecological spirit between 1 and 4 million Romanian people”, said Raluca Fiser, president of Green Revolution.
In order to ensure the operation of the system, controls shall be made, which will be carried out by the Environmental Guard starting with November. Until then, the team which will carry out the information and awareness campaign planned for a period of eight months, will make visits, every two weeks, in the public institutions in order to monitor the implementation of the project.
“I am convinced that if the public officers will adopt this habit at work, they will take it home as well”, said Sulfina Barbu, the initiator of the legislative project. She also added that once with the start of the project and increase in the collection and recycling rates, new jobs will be generated in the specialized companies.
“It was absolutely necessary for the public environment to make an effort”, underlined the LDP parliamentarian, specifying that, to date, the collection and recycling targets have been reached by the private environment.
In its turn, NEPA will develop an online application for monitoring the selective collection data.
Fines amounting to 200,000 euro per day for the missed targets
Each public institution will decide how to selectively collect the waste. The employees may sort the packaging waste in sacks, cardboard boxes (for paper) or may buy office bins or coloured containers. It is important to know that plastic and aluminium waste is disposed in the yellow bin, paper and cardboard in the blue bin and glass in the green bin.
Up to 2013, the Romania’s objectives relating to the selective collection and recycling of packaging waste will increase gradually, from one year to another, up to the moment when they reach the European standards.
For example, this year the recycling objectives are for paper: 60%, for plastic: 14%, for glass: 44% and for metals: 50%, declared Sorin Popescu, director of EcoRom.
If Romania misses the recovery and recycling targets that it has, it is liable, in 2015, to the infringement procedure and if it is initiated and applied up to the end, Romania may be subject to the payment of fines amounting to 200,000 euro per day, for each unaccomplished objective.
The recycling target for 2013 is 60% and it means that, each year, the rate of waste collected from the population increases significantly. Last year, with the help of the containers provided by EcoRom Ambalaje, 12,000 tons of packaging waste were collected.
Why should we collect selectively:
* Plastic recycling reduces water consumption and lowers the generation of CO2 2.5 times
* Each ton of recycled plastic means a saving of 700- 800 tons of crude oil
* Plastic packaging waste is used for manufacturing: Fibres for carpets, stuffing material for plush toys, insulating materials for sleeping bags, cases for CDs
* The containers of beverages, diary products, cosmetic products and detergents, the plastic and polystyrene casseroles and plastic bags may be recycled
* The lids of containers which are not made from plastic, the plastic pots, mixed products (combinations of plastic and metal) are not selectively collected
* A ton of paper waste saves five 80-100-year-old trees, or approximately five cubic metres of timber necessary for manufacturing an equivalent quantity of cellulose
* Energy saving: wastepaper is processed using an energy consumption 2-3 times lower than in the case in which cellulose fibres are used
* A tree absorbs up to 27 kilograms of pollutant substances per year
* One 15-year-old tree is necessary to produce 700 paper bags
* The paper and cardboard packaging and the cardboard beverage boxes may be recycled
* Wax paper and mixed products (paper mixed with metal) are not selectively collected
* The recycling of a ton of glass packaging waste enables the saving of 660 kg of sand, the energy consumption of an inhabitant for one month, the household water consumption of an inhabitant for a period of four days
* Beverage bottles and food containers may be selectively collected but the windows, mirrors, pots, bulbs and cups may not.
* Metal materials are disposed in the same bin with plastic materials, i.e. the yellow bin
* Beverage cans and food cans are recyclable
Source: Evenimentul Zilei