Iceland’s Parliament has passed an amendment to the Hygiene and Pollution Prevention Act, which, among other things, bans putting single-use plastics on the market from July 3, 2021. The products that will be banned include single-use cotton buds, plastic cutlery and dishes, straws, and stir sticks. Styrofoam food and drink containers, cups, and glasses will also be prohibited.
The unconditional ban will also cover oxo-plastic products, which are not biodegradable though often marketed as such. “Products from such plastics have made a place for themselves on the market in recent years, especially certain types of plastic bags, but their nature is to break down into microparticles that are harmful to health and the environment and are a growing problem around the world,” a government notice on the legislation states.
The amendment will also impose mandatory labelling on certain disposable plastic products that will remain permitted, such as menstrual products, wet wipes, and certain tobacco products. The labels will provide information about how to properly dispose of the products after use and the negative effects they have on the environment.
Exceptions will be made for products that are classified as medical devices.