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On the Banning of Plastic Bags and Disposable Plastic / Styrofoam Cutlery /Serving Items, and Single-Use Plastics

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On 8/9/2017 at 10:01 AM, Siempre Soluciones said:

I find it convenient using these plastic bags from the grocery store while cooking.  I'll use several for food waste, eggs shells, bones, vegetable peelings, etc., all to be placed in a larger trash bag in a can for pickup.  Will it be illegal to use these privately in your home?  Where can these bags be purchased in bulk?  I've never looked for them at Pricesmart.

So do I find these plastic bags useful. But will gladly find an alternative to these plastic bags that take THOUSANDS of year to degrade. 

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Plastic Bags Banned in Panama

The Assembly has approved a law prohibiting the delivery of disposable and non-biodegradable plastic bags to end consumers in supermarkets and commercial establishments.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

From a statement issued by the National Assembly of Panama:

The proposal is that establishments will proceed with the progressive replacement of prohibited bags, exchanging them for containers made of non-polluting materials or reusable plastic, within the following 12-month periods, from the enactment of this law, for supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers; and within 24 months for warehouses and wholesalers.

The objectives of the regulations are aimed at replacing the use of disposable plastic bags for reusable bags for carrying articles purchased in commercial establishments, and reducing the generation and disposal of solid waste, in order to improve the quality of the environment.

 

http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Plastic_Bags_Banned_in_Panama

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OPINION: Plastic pollution outweighs benefits

PLASTIC is a product of human creation derived from petroleum. Its use has been fundamental for the economic progress of all countries. With this material you can cover,  store, pack, and preserve, and in its infinite combinations it accompanies and defines contemporary human life from plastic credit cards to even the bottles of water. Without this compound, our daily life would be extremely difficult. All the benefits of plastic cannot compensate for its main disadvantage: Material saturates the landfills, lakes, rivers and seas of the world. Species as diverse as birds turtles, dolphins, whales and fish have been found dead with plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, the planet’s oceans will have more plastic than all animal and plant protein combined. It is time to act, we must be intelligent consumers, and more responsible with the environment and health. To achieve this we need the weight of the law and the real will to change… Hoyporhoy, La Prensa. Aug. 11

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/panama-3/opinion-plastic-pollution-outweighs-benefits

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In the UK large supermarkets and retail stores charge 5p for each plastic bag you want – if you buy a week’s worth of groceries the 5p’s can mount up.  It’s a great incentive to take your own shopping bags (as my mother did when I was small, as I did when I grew and as I do now).  Smaller businesses can charge on a voluntary basis.

The 5p is not a government tax and does not go into the government coffers but the government does expect retailers to give the proceeds to good causes – it is for the individual businesses to choose what to do and which causes to support.

I’m sure if, worldwide, charges were levied for plastic bags we’d see a sharp decline in their usage.

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6 minutes ago, Marion said:

In the UK large supermarkets and retail stores charge 5p for each plastic bag you want – if you buy a week’s worth of groceries the 5p’s can mount up.  It’s a great incentive to take your own shopping bags (as my mother did when I was small, as I did when I grew and as I do now).  Smaller businesses can charge on a voluntary basis.

The 5p is not a government tax and does not go into the government coffers but the government does expect retailers to give the proceeds to good causes – it is for the individual businesses to choose what to do and which causes to support.

I’m sure if, worldwide, charges were levied for plastic bags we’d see a sharp decline in their usage.

I am seeing the same thing here in Colombia.   Many large supermarkets charge a small fee for each plastic bag.   Right away that cuts down on the number of plastic bags a customer uses.   They  also sell the reusable cloth bags which many use rather than paying for plastic bags each visit.

I did see that the Rey in David was trying to push the idea of reusable cloth bags by having a single checkout isle that only served clients with either the reusable bags or for customers not using any bags.   Unfortunately, after a short time, it appeared that checkout lane was always closed.  I suspect that having a dedicated cashier for a checkout that got very little use did not make much sense.

Personally, I like the consumer having the choice with incentives for preferred behavior.    

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While Panama thrashes about with this, Kenya has gone serious about a plastic ban. The country is grappling with some of the issues raised here.

Click Here

Edited by Bonnie

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59 minutes ago, Bonnie said:

While Panama thrashes about with this, Kenya has gone serious about a plastic ban. I would love to know how they've coped with all the issues raised in this thread.

Click Here

Good article.

Any bags which aren't biodegradable should be banned everywhere, imo.

"Worldwide, plastic bags contribute to eight million tons of plastic that leak into the ocean every year, according to the United Nations Environment Program. “At current rates, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, wreaking havoc on marine fisheries, wildlife and tourism,” the program said in a statement when Kenya’s ban was announced in March.

Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to degrade, and polyethylene bags can strangle sea turtles and fill the stomachs of whales and dolphins until they die of starvation. In Kenya, livestock often graze on garbage, and bags are found in the stomachs of cows when they are slaughtered, according to the United Nations Environment Program."

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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One can only suppose that tons and tons of plastic water bottles and other non-degradable floating refuse are finding their way into the Gulf of Mexico due to the disastrous flooding in Texas.

bottled_water_daniel_orth_flickrcc.thumb.jpg.a1ef82272ced4c1fdd4c78eb8a1eb476.jpg

Edited by Keith Woolford

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1 hour ago, Keith Woolford said:

Well, this proposal got vetoed, for who knows what reason.  I thought it was a great initiative.

A woman Tweeted this morning that Pricesmart is chock full of people who aren't receiving bags and she doesn't see or hear anyone complaining.

https://twitter.com/raisabanfield/status/917184771368869888

 

OK so ban chucking the bags and bottles in bushes, streams and rivers. ( I know I know it already is banned ).  But at LEAST do something worthwhile with the damn stuff

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On 8/11/2017 at 7:21 PM, Dottie Atwater said:

So do I find these plastic bags useful. But will gladly find an alternative to these plastic bags that take THOUSANDS of year to degrade. 

Yah I find it useful as well.  I always use one when I put streaks in my hair....and you can see the difference one plastic bag makes!

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I found large biodegradable trash bags. I hope these will be allowed. Will be looking for small ones too. The thought of having to put cat poop in a paper bag is gross. And what will people do with dirty diapers? Again, gross . Unlikely they will go back to cloth ones. Hopefully if this bill is enacted, all the stores will stock only biodegradable bags.

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The subject of the damage that plastic bags inflict on the environment is also confronting other countries. Two African countries (Kenya and Rwanda) are taking Draconian measures against violators of plastic bag bans, including fines and imprisonment. See the below recent articles about this issue from the New York Times.

I hope Panama uses a positive/constructive path to address this issue -- meaning reusable and/or biodegradable bags -- rather than punitive measures.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/kenya-plastic-bag-laws.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/28/world/africa/rwanda-plastic-bags-banned.html

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On 3/2/2017 at 9:14 AM, Pederhaney said:

Probably not in commercial places, since the biodegradable bags cost more.  Or shift the cost onto the consumer with pricing increases.

 Perhaps they'll stock and sell them so that people dealing with poop and/or rubbish disposal are able to buy them for personal use.  And then it would snow on the top of Baru!

They already stock and sell them.  I bought some at Alto Dorado supermarket.

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6 hours ago, JudyS said:

They already stock and sell them.  I bought some at Alto Dorado supermarket.

The smart retailers will be ahead of the curb. 

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I hope so, but I've seldom witnessed a retailer in Panama being ahead of the curve on anything. They'll go down kicking and screaming.

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Sweet alternative to plastic bags

Plastic bottles, car parts, made from sugar? Yes, says Dow DuPont

Karl Baker, The News Journal Published 5:46 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2017 | Updated 9:08 a.m. ET Nov. 22, 2017
 

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated the business within DuPont that is developing sugar-based plastics. It is the Industrial Biosciences business.

DowDuPont scientists are racing to commercialize a plastic that is derived from sugar and not crude oil – an innovation that could be a key win for the conglomerate's forthcoming Delaware spinoff. 

They have developed a "revolutionary" process to construct a spaghetti-like molecular chain that can be formed into soda bottles, car parts and even polyester fabric, said Wilmington-based chemist Paul Fagan, who leads the company's research into sustainable polymers.

The renewable molecules come from corn and sugar cane and have a less harmful impact on the environment because their production results in lower carbon emissions than that of petroleum plastics, Fagan said.

And, unlike oil, sugars will never run out, he said. 

“A lot of our customers and, we ourselves, would like to get away from using oil to make things," said Fagan, a precise-speaking scientist with more than 20 patents to his name. “We’re not only trying to make things sustainable but also ... recyclable at the same time, that’s the advantage of the particular class of polymers I’m working on now."

While plastics composed partially of plants are on the market – including DowDuPont's Sorona fiber – Fagan's goal for a 100 percent sugar-based plastic puts the company in direct competition with several startups and mid-size firms – all wanting to be first to disrupt the half-trillion dollar global plastics business.

"I would say there’s a race and people are approaching it from different perspectives," said Marifaith Hackett, director of specialty chemicals at IHS Markit, a London-based corporate research firm. "The long-term promise is very significant, but it would almost certainly take years to achieve that promise.”

Fagan says DowDuPont, which is partnering with Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland Company on the research, has the advantage of scale.

Still, as bio-plastics companies rush to be first in the market, their work is not registering as an existential threat to petrochemical plastic producers, Hackett said.  

“They just think this is so far into the future,” she said. "It's not figuring into their 10-year plans."

Revenues for the infant bio-plastics industry today is estimated at between $3 billion and $8 billion, according to analysts. An industry report from May predicted that amount to grow 28 percent annually through 2023. 

Fagan sees bio-plastics completely replacing petroleum in about 50 years, he said.

Capturing the industry's initial growth would be key to bolstering DowDuPont's forthcoming Specialty Products spin-off, which currently is a division within the company.

After completing a $150 billion merger in August, DowDuPont officials plan to split the firm into three independent companies in the coming years, along their current Specialty Products, Material Sciences and Agriculture divisions.

Specialty Products and Agriculture will be based in Delaware, while Material Sciences will be headquartered in Dow Chemicals' home of Midland, Michigan, according to company officials.

In September, DowDuPont transferred $8 billion worth of company operations from Materials Science to Specialty Products, including a plastic line of products, which are separate from Fagan's laboratories. Specialty Products is estimated to generate $20 billion in annual revenue as an independent company. 

Referencing the disparate operations in the Specialty Products division, one DuPont analyst suggested it be "affectionately known as Hodgepodge Co."

To date, it is unclear how and when Fagan's operations will meld with Dow's own bio-plastic chemists and engineers, spokeswoman Sandra James said.

“Some businesses, absolutely, will be working side by side,” James said. “But it’s a matter of time.” 

Finding the right recipe

The path to a bio-plastic future is dotted with engineering obstacles, in addition to the intense competition.

“Making plastics (entirely) from renewables is feasible today at least on the laboratory scale but the economics just are not viable,” said Hackett. “A new plastic really has to promise a combination of performance and price point, and a lot of these bio-plastics struggle to do that.”

The Center for Sustainable Polymers at the University of Minnesota notes that most bio-plastics initially don't have the same physical properties as traditional plastics, such as toughness, melting temperature and elasticity.

Fagan acknowledges that scientific challenges remain, but says his goal follows the same long-term DuPont business plan that has led to past household-name discoveries and drivers of revenue, such as nylon, neoprene, Kevlar and Tyvek.

"So, even if it’s many years forward, we’re setting the groundwork now because science always builds on science before it.” 

STORY: CSU team's discovery could revolutionize plastics

VIDEO: Ford, Heinz to make car parts out of tomatoes this summer

DuPont's groundwork is being set in partnership with Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland Company. In early 2016, the two companies agreed to work together to refine the newly-discovered chemical process that builds the plant-based plastic, called furan dicarboxylic methyl ester.

"We have different renewable components that we can put together with these furan things that we are making at ADM to make a new suite of renewable polymers," Fagan said. "They’re experts in making sugar out of corn kernels and we’re experts in doing some of the chemistry."

While his team continues to tinker with the molecular structure of the sugar plastics, DowDuPont plans to open a production plant in Decatur, Illinois "in the next year or so," Fagan said. 

"We’ve developed the chemistry already, so we’re putting the process in place," he said. 

Praise from the industry

In apparent votes of confidence, Fagan and DuPont have received numerous awards for the bio-plastics work during the past year.

Fagan’s team of researchers, along with ADM, in August were named the best bio-plastic innovators by the Plastics Industry Association.

Then, last month, Fagan garnered more praise – this time internally – as he was honored by DuPont for “outstanding technical contributions that have delivered significant value to customers.”

DuPont's Charles J. Pedersen award, which he received, is named after the company's 1987 Nobel Laureate.

“Our customers rely on science-based innovations from DuPont to help them succeed,” said Specialty Products Division boss Alexa Dembek.

Fagan, commenting on the recognition and the research that underpins it, said it is a wave of the future that harkens to the past.

“It’s kind of going back to what was done in history,” Fagan said, “when everything was made out of plants.”

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Panama plastic bags era  nearing end

plastic-bags-620x264.jpg 
On the way out
Post Views: 222
 
The first law sanctioned by President Juan  Carlos  Varela in 2018  obliges supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers to replace plastic bags with reusable bags within 18 months   

The law promotes the use of reusable bags in commercial establishments. Warehouses and wholesalers will have a period of 24 months to remove plastic bags from their premises.

The new  law was sanctioned by Varela and published in the Official Gazette  on Friday, January 19

It was approved in the third debate on August 10, 2017  by the National Assembly.

Its proponent was  Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD),  Deputy Samir Gozaine, and had the support of the independent substitute deputy Alida Spadafora.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/panama-3/panama-plastic-bags-era-nearing-end

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Panama: Use of Plastic Bags Banned

As of January 19, supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers will have 18 months to stop using plastic bags, and warehouses and wholesalers will have a period of 24 months.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Last Friday, the sanction of Law 1 of January 19, 2018, was published in the Official Gazette, a law which prohibits the use of polyethylene bags in supermarkets, self service shops, warehouses or shops in general to transport products or merchandise.

See: "Plastic Bags Banned in Panama"

According to article 2 of the Law, the replacement of plastic bags with reusable bags will be progressive " ... within the following periods: 

  1. Eighteen months, counted from the enactment of this Law, for supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers. 
  2. Twenty-four months, counted from the enactment of the Law, for warehouses and wholesalers."


The Law states that " ... the Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition Authority will be responsible for the application of the Law and for inspection of the replacement referred to in Article 2."

See full publication in the official newspaper La Gaceta (in Spanish)

 

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

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Morocco Shares Environmental Vision in Panama

les-verts-en-campagne-écologie-sauvages-green-développement-durable-jeune-pousse-1-1160x770-678x381-640x360.jpg

By Hajare El Khaldi

Rabat – Morocco’s Ambassador to Panama, Oumama Aouad, highlighted Morocco’s environmental achievements at a conference on “Public Policies to Preserve the Environment,” held this week at the Technological University of Panama (UTP).

Morocco has been building a green economy that ensures the sustainability of its development, benefiting from the natural resources that are both clean and renewable.

Aouad tied these achievements to Mohammed VI’s vision of making the environment a national priority, along with social and economic development.

The diplomat stated that the choice for renewable energies, whether wind or photovoltaic, allows Morocco to reduce its energy dependence. In fact, thanks to solar stations NOOR I and NOOR II, at Ouarzazate Solar Power Station, Morocco is expected to account more than half of its energy consumption with renewable sources by 2030.

This policy also involves the ban on producing, marketing, and using plastic bags, given their negative impact of the environment on the short, medium, and long-term.

At the international level, Aouad maintained that the preservation of the ecological heritage and the fight against global warming were illustrated by Morocco’s participation in various editions of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP), including hosting two COPs in 2001 and in 2016 in Marrakech.

Morocco also adheres to the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to unite all the world’s nations under one single climate change agreement for the first time in history.

At the end of the conference, students held a discussion about Morocco’s efforts to preserve the environment, touching on Panama’s decision to follow in Morocco’s footsteps with the plastic bag ban that went into effect in January.

This conference, which is part of the Month of the Francophonie celebration, took place in the presence of the Director of the French Alliance in Panama, several university officials, representatives of diplomatic missions and organizations, accredited internationals in Panama, and students and researcher from the Faculty of Engineering Science.

Vice-Rector for the Technological University of Panama (UTP), who presided the opening of this conference on the experiences of Morocco and Costa Rica, thanked the organizers for the choice of UTP as a framework and stressed its weigh on the theme of the environment.

 

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/03/242769/morocco-environment-vision-panama/

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