According to the Lisbon Waste Management, Cleaning and Urban Hygiene Regulation, published in the state journal Diário da República on the last day of 2019, areas of commercial occupation are prohibited from serving, outside the establishment, products from the sale and consumption of the same, in single-use or disposable plastic, namely plastic cups.
The measure entered into force on 1 January, but the entities have 90 days to adapt to the new regulation.
In statements to Lusa, a source from AHRESP - Associação da Hotelaria, Restauração e Similares de Portugal (Hotel, Restaurant and Similar Association of Portugal) pointed out that the adaptation of these establishments to the new rules is in progress, but there are still many doubts about the type and characteristics of packaging that can be used.
The association added that it is awaiting the necessary clarifications from the Portuguese Environment Agency, to inform companies in the sector rigorously.
The Lisbon Chamber anticipated the national legislation, which determines the non-use and non-availability of single-use plastic tableware in the activities of the restaurant and/or beverage sector and in the retail trade only as of 3 September 2020 and with this time horizon that AHRESP and the companies were working, they said.
The association said that it has always defended and fought, at the Lisbon City Hall, for specific awareness, information and education campaigns on this Regulation, to be carried out in a moment before its entry into force, because behaviours and mentalities are not changed by decrees or regulations.
However, AHRESP said that it has already been agreed with the Lisbon City Hall to prepare a set of Frequently Asked Questions and an Interpretative Guide to the Regulation to clarify some issues and make it easier for companies to understand and comply with it, in addition to specific clarification sessions for companies.
The Regulation provides that, after the adaptation period, in case of non-compliance, companies will be notified. If they persist in non-compliance, they should be subject to an administrative offence procedure.
The fines for this type of infringement range from €150 to €1,500 for natural persons and €1,000 to €15,000 for legal persons.
Ancillary penalties may be added to these fines, such as the deprivation of participation in public tenders or the suspension of authorisations to use public space, for itinerant sales or terraces, for up to two years.
The Chamber may also restrict the opening hours of the business, up to five hours a day and for a maximum period of two months.