I was enjoying a quiet Saturday morning when the Unsleeping Eye brought me this rather dry announcement (in Romanian). Say what?
Along with potential price hikes in the cost of food as the result of a 2 lei per kilogram packaging tax, Romania could face sanctions [by the EU] as a result of not reaching recycling goals.
That 2 lei (about 50 euro cents) per kilogram packaging tax kicks in on January 25. That’s bad enough but check this out:
“If Romania fails to take measures [to achieve recycling standards set by the EU], costs will go up on food. In the case of certain categories such as mineral water, canned fruits and vegetables, and milk, prices may increase by 30%. In the worst case, if Romania is sanctioned by the EU for failing to achieve recycling standards, the country will be fined 200 thousand euros per day. And it is the Romanian consumer which will have to pay this,” said Romaliamenta in a their statement.
Over the years, I’ve consistently seen how Romania thrills to all the benefits of being a member of the EU while consistently fails to heed the obligations of being an EU member.
Sanctions from the EU are just theoretical at this point but it is indisputable that Romania is far, far behind on meeting its EU obligations (which you can read about here). I also note that there will be a major EU conference in Brussels on recycling on January 29, and it is likely that Romania’s deficiencies will be mentioned/highlighted.
Just for funsies I had a look through the last EU report on Romania’s recycling efforts, which can be found here (click on Annex 1 and then unpack the PDF file on Romania). It’s not good. Only 2.58% of urban waste is being recycled. Rut roh!
The hammer (200 thousand Euros a day) may not be coming down this month, but it WILL be coming one day soon.