The decision to extend the deadline for the use of disposable plastic is due to "the constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," justifies the Government in decree-law 22-A/2021, which extends several deadlines in various matters and establishes exceptional and temporary measures under Covid-19.
The Government had decided to ban disposable plastic utensils as of 3 September last year, anticipating a European Union directive in that regard, which sets July this year as the date.
However, due to the pandemic, the Council of Ministers on 27 August last year decided that the catering sector could continue to use disposable plastic crockery until 31 March 2021.
The decree "extends until 31 March 2021 the period available to catering and beverage service providers to adapt to the provisions regarding the non-use and non-availability of single-use plastic crockery," the Council of Ministers statement said at the time.
In the decree-law that again extends the deadline, the Government states that in the current period of suspension of activity, the catering sector can only operate for the purposes of preparation for consumption outside the establishment through home delivery, at the door of the establishment or at the wicket.
Therefore "it is decided to extend the period available to catering and beverage service providers to adapt to the provisions of Law No. 76/2019, of 2 September, which determines the non-use and non-availability of single-use plastic tableware in the activities of the catering and/or beverage sector and in retail trade," the document states.