STI checked the supply of the light weight plastic carrier bags against payment
We had informed you by the end of the year 2017 on the obligation of the merchandisers to supply the plastic carrier bags against payment under certain conditions (https://www.naturpack.sk/en/news/plastic-carrying-bags-evidence-obligation-since-october-2017/).
This obligation was checked by the Slovak Trade Inspection (STI) during the first half of the year 2018.
Subject of the inspection
The STI inspectors checked in the framework of the control the following obligations of the merchandisers:
1. to supply the light weight plastic carrier bags against payment (except of case of very light plastic carrier bags below 15 micrometers of wall thickness used for packing of not-packed foodstuffs),
2. to offer also alternative types of carrier bags (e.g. paper or textile bags),
3. to offer to the consumer packaging material during the self-service selling the cost of which will be covered by the vendor – in the case of foodstuffs also the very light weight plastic carrier bag can serve as packaging material that is freely available. In the case of another goods when the hygienic reasons are not relevant the vendor shall ask for payment for light weight plastic carrier bags.
Missing price labels on the plastic carrier bags
The inspection results revealed relatively frequent breach of the general obligations of the vendor defined by the Act on consumer protection. The identified breaches were related dominantly to the marking of the goods by their price. Specifically, light weight plastic carrier bags were not marked by their price in the offer for the consumer, moreover, the price information was not available to the consumer by another suitable way – e.g. by the price list.
When and which types of carrier bags shall be paid
NATUR-PACK developed an overview – a table showing the obligations related to the plastic carrier bags depending on the wall thickness of these carrier bags. The table contains also definition of the obligations when selling plastic carrier bags under certain conditions.
Carrier bag wall thickness (µm)
Offering of alternative carrier bag
January 1st, 2018
January 1st, 2018
Very light weight plastic carrier bags (used for unpacked foodstuffs or from hygienic reasons)
Light weight plastic carrier bags (NOT used for unpacked foodstuffs or from hygienic reasons)
Light weight plastic carrier bags
15 - 50
Plastic carrier bags
Very light weight plastic carrier bags with the wall thickness below 15 micrometers – bags for non-packed foodstuff
Very light weight plastic carrier bags with the wall thickness below 15 micrometers, i.e. also the bags supplied as a primary packaging for non-packed foodstuff or that are required from hygienic reasons in order to prevent food wasting shall be offered for free. Such „free“ very light weight plastic carrier bags are most often supplied to the customer in the departments with pastries, fruits and vegetables.
Light weight plastic carrier bags with the wall thickness below 15 micrometers – bags for other goods
Any other light weight plastic carrier bags below 15 micrometers, i.e. also the bags not serving as primary packaging of non-packed foodstuff or from the hygienic reasons in order to prevent food wasting shall be supplied against payment, and the amount shall be shown on the price mark. Eventually, the information on price shall be available to the customer by alternative way – e.g. price list.
Light weight plastic carrier bags between 15 and 50 micrometers
Plastic carrier bag with the wall thickness between 15 and 50 micrometers shall anytime be reimbursed, regardless its use pattern. The obligation of informing about its price shall be kept.
Plastic carrier bags – wall thickness 50 micrometers and above
Reimbursement of the plastic carrier bag with the wall thickness 50 micrometers and above is left on the decision of the merchandiser. The obligation of informing about its price shall also be kept.
Information on obligations related to plastic carrier bags in the video presentation.
NATUR-PACK prepared by the end of the last year a brief summary of the obligations related to the plastic carrier bags on the video presentation. You can find the section on the reimbursement of the plastic carrier bags here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvF3AUUaW3M&t=176s
The inspections will continue
„As regards the inspection of reimbursement of the light and very light plastic carrier bags it will continue (dominantly on the basis of the indications from the side of consumers)“, expressed the STI in the Information on performed inspections related to the forbidden free supply of the light weight plastic carrier bags. The time schedule of the inspections will be settled in relation to the on-going inspection outcomes.
Source: Slovak Trade Inspection (STI)