New charge on plastic bags to help fight air pollution: minister
PR dla Zagranicy
Proceeds from a new charge for disposable plastic shopping bags will be used to fight air pollution in Poland, Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced.
Photo: PAP/Wojciech Pacewicz
Morawiecki said the battle against smog is “a social and economic issue of fundamental importance”.
Last week, the lower house of the Polish parliament voted for a new charge on disposable bags as of 2018, with the maximum fee set at PLN 1 (EUR 0.23).
“The proceeds stemming from the crackdown on plastic bags will go to subsidies for Poles who can’t afford to replace old coal-burning stoves" with more eco-friendly heating systems, Morawiecki said.
Andrzej Guła, head of the Polish Smog Alarm NGO, praised the decision but pointed to another urgent step needed to eradicate air pollution – introducing legal regulations on the quality of coal burned by Polish households.
Poland is the only EU country that does not set any standards for the sale of solid fuel used for heating homes, prompting many to buy the cheapest and dirtiest kind of coal.
Morawiecki met non-governmental organisations, including the Polish Smog Alarm, on Monday to discuss ways to fight air pollution. (aba/pk)