23 Oct 2014 - 20:35
Georgia is taking a tougher stance on environmental pollution and is launching a campaign to raise awareness and encourage waste management.
Law enforcers will take a stricter approach on those who littered or polluted the environment, said Georgia’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Elguja Khokrishvili today.
The Government has reviewed the country’s Waste Management Code and made amendments, which included increasing fines for those who dropped rubbish.
According to the draft law, penalties for littering will start from 50 GEL, while the maximum fine will extend up to 5,000 GEL.
A novelty in the new draft law related to business waste.
According to the Code, manufacturing business owners are now liable for ensuring products, which will eventually become waste, are separated from general waste. The manufacturer was also responsible for its collection, transportation, recycling, recovery and environmentally safe disposal.
The Minister believed one of the reasons why Georgia’s pollution rate was so high was because of the absence of a united waste management system. He noted the Ministry had finished working on a package of legislative changes that will tighten control over pollution of the environment.
One of these changes envisaged fines for people who deliberately dumped waste. Individuals who dumped one cubic meter of rubbish could be fined 200 GEL and businesses could be fined 1,000 GEL for the same offence.
The Waste Management Code will provide Georgia with modern waste management approach that synchronised with European standards.
The Minister believed the changes were important in terms of the Association Agreement, which Georgia signed with the European Union (EU) earlier this year.
The draft law was developed under the EU-funded waste management twinning project named ‘Capacity building of the Ministry of Environment to develop and improve the waste management system in Georgia’, and carried out by the Austrian-Bulgarian Association.
Austrian, Bulgarian and German experts teamed up with local experts to prepare the Waste Management Code.