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On the Banning of Plastic Bags and Disposable Plastic / Styrofoam Cutlery and Serving Items

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Was just in Rey today.  Sign said plastic bags 5 cents, reusable ones 25 cents.  While I agree with cutting down on plastic, this idea was very poorly thought out.  What do I put my meat and veggies in?  Seems like the supermarkets will be making out like bandits on this law.

 

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Losses due to Plastic Bag Prohibition

In Panama is reported a fall of between 25% and 30% in the national production of polyethylene bags in the last month and a half, because of the entry into force of the law that prohibits its use.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The use of plastic bags is banned in the first instance for supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail outlets. In the case of wholesalers, the use of free polyethylene bags will be implemented from January 20, 2020.

The businessmen of the sector believe that the law did not give time to manufacturers to adapt to the amendment, which has been in force since July 20 of this year.

You may be interested in "Plastic: What Companies Are Doing Business in Panama?

Cristóbal Siu, member of the Association of Plastics Manufacturers of Panama, explained to Panamaamerica.com.pa that "... We have diversified into other lines in order to continue subsisting and has required additional sacrifice for the economic situation in which the country finds itself. We've had to lay off staff and make other adjustments to stay in the market."

Siu added that "... It would be better to wait one or two more years to implement the law and not affect the manufacturers. Now they have information of the closing of a factory and possibly another one is also about to close."

It is estimated that in the country were manufactured annually about 10 million plastic bags and that imports amounted to 500 tons of bags.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Losses_due_to_Plastic_Bag_Prohibition

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46 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

s estimated that in the country were manufactured annually about 10 million plastic bags and that imports amounted to 500 tons of bags.

Two different units of measurement make it difficult to get the picture.

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3 hours ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

plastic waste in oceans by country pollution .jpg

Some people seemingly have a problem for every solution.

Ocean pollution is a global crisis. First world countries should be leading by example, not by finger pointing at others while shunning their own responsibilities.

Some of these topics were covered in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement which the U.S. abandoned and is now defunct.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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17 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Some people seemingly have a problem for every solution.

Ocean pollution is a global crisis. First world countries should be leading by example, not by finger pointing at others while shunning their own responsibilities.

Some of these topics were covered in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement which the U.S. abandoned and is now defunct.

 

 

Keith,
 
You're correct, leading by example is one way to get people to conform.  However, for decades first world nations especially in North America and Europe have implemented stringent pollution controls on fossil fueled vehicles as well as power plants in addition to enforcing strict recycling policies and it appears that third world and developing nations have not followed suit.  Perhaps more time is needed.
 
As for the TPP, that along with the Paris Accord was a big loser for the United States hence their lack of participation.

 

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I do not think anyone is arguing that there isn't a problem, nor that something shouldn't be done.   To look at the problem realistically and then to say well lets ban plastic straws is a kin to trying to lower the level of the ocean with an eyedropper.   To efficiently target the problem and actually make a difference, it is necessary to look at what plastic items are the biggest contributors.   Certainly plastic straws are not a big contributor.  It is laughable to say "well at least they are doing SOMETHING".    Panama is probably doing more by banning the plastic bags than California is doing by banning plastic straws.   Just because you are "doing something" does not mean you are making a meaningful difference. 

Also, I do not personally buy the argument that the US or "First World Countries" need to lead the way and that everyone else will just simply follow.   This is just finger pointing in the other direction and is just as unhelpful as saying other countries are worse.   There are many, many things a person can point to where the rest of the world did not follow the lead of first world countries.   The cultures and economics are so vastly different that it is simply not possible even if they wanted to do it.

The real solution is to create a bigger demand for environmentally friendly alternatives than there currently is for plastic.   Putting money and research into developing such alternatives is much more constructive.   You change the supply by changing the demand.  If the demand for environmentally friendly alternatives outweighs the demand for plastic you take a great step forward in fixing the problem.

The latest insanity is that now they are making sippy cups for adults as an alternative to plastic straws.   Of course the cup and the new sippy top is made of ....  plastic...  and probably more plastic than was used to make the straw.   Some solutions just suck.

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Banning plastic bags is a very small contribution, but nevertheless is a contribution.  I might disagree with Dan in that it needs "first world countries" to lead.  Look at the industrial strength plastic that surrounds a lot of products these days.  You need a chain saw to get into that stuff!  If the companies using it were subject to penalties, then a change could quickly happen.

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1 hour ago, Twin Wolf Technology Group said:

the argument that the US or "First World Countries" need to lead the way and that everyone else will just simply follow.

That's right, Dan. Everyone will not just simply follow.

That's the reason that international agreements on a myriad of issues which have a global effect are required.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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On 9/11/2019 at 11:32 AM, Keith Woolford said:

Biodegradable bags

Keith, some time back you posted that PriceSmart had the biodegradable bags and you even posted a picture. I have yet to find them in PriceSmart. On Thursday I asked a young employee about where they would be WHEN they got more. He said right where the other plastic bags are. Was that the location where you had found them?

Dottie

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Instead of banning plastic bags for these merchants and grocers, the laws should require the bags to be biodegradable.  That way, residents would still have bags to clean up dog and cat poop, and you wouldn't have the unhealthy dirty cloth grocery bags which get contaminated by meat pretty easily. 

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On 9/13/2019 at 7:18 PM, Dottie Atwater said:

Keith, some time back you posted that PriceSmart had the biodegradable bags and you even posted a picture. I have yet to find them in PriceSmart. On Thursday I asked a young employee about where they would be WHEN they got more. He said right where the other plastic bags are. Was that the location where you had found them?

Dottie

 

 

Dottie,

 

Don't worry, you're not going crazy!  I was at Pricesmart last week and again yesterday and both times I checked both of the areas where they stock plastic bags.  I unfortunately found none, I guess they must have run out of stock.

 

 

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Of course, we could just leave all the entirely natural, rapidly bio-degradable dog poop where it falls,
or pass laws requiring that all dog owners teach their pets to use the toilet in the house or a cat litter box.
:  )

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