Jump to content
Moderator_02

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

Recommended Posts

Quote

A bill seeks to regulate the use of polystyrene or foam plastic in Panama

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 15:59

Normal (2)_0.jpg

A bill that seeks to regulate the use of expanded polystyrene, a plastic known as foam in Panama that is widely used as a container, was introduced today in the Panamanian Parliament by deputy and environmentalist Alda Spadafora.

The MP and activist stressed that for the production of expanded polystyrene petroleum-based plastics are used, so it is one of the largest pollutants in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with effects on soil, water, marine fauna and humans.

But because of its low cost and resistance to extreme climates, this plastic is used in different products and aspects of daily life, especially in food handling, gardening, construction, transportation of goods and agriculture, she added.

Although most of this material is used for industrial purposes, it is also used for the production of cups, plates, containers and packages for food marketing.

She said that in Panama its use is growing, because in 2015 some 161,736 kilos of expanded polystyrene entered the country, while in 2017 that figure stood at 185,685 kilos.

Spadafora stressed that this plastic is already prohibited for food handling in several cities in the United States.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/bill-seeks-regulate-use-polystyrene-or-foam-plastic-panama-7792

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Panamanian mayor approves rule to reduce disposable plastics

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:37

Normal (8)_0.jpg

The Mayor's Office of the Panamanian capital today approved a rule to reduce the use of disposable plastics and encourage the consumption of biodegradable materials in all its facilities and in the activities it organizes.

The municipal agreement also includes promoting the use of biodegradable, compostable or reusable alternatives in open-air public events organized by private individuals, the Mayor's Office said in a statement.

The regulation, introduced by the vice-mayor and environmental ex activist, Raisa Banfield, also obliges the promoters of outdoor events to place containers to dispose of the plastic waste and transport the waste to collection centers for recycling.

The objective of the rule is "to prevent environmental pollution, maintain the ecological balance and avoid the destruction of ecosystems and the excessive increase in the use of all types of disposable plastics," the municipality added.

The 19 percent of the waste that is handled in the sanitary landfill that serves the capital and its surroundings are plastics, only behind the solid waste that represents 30 percent, according to data from the Mayor's Office.

Panama approved last January a pioneering law in Central America, which will come into force in January 2019 and which prohibits the use of disposable plastic bags in any type of commercial establishment.

The parliament of the Central American country will also discuss a bill to regulate the use of expanded polystyrene, a plastic known in Panama as "foam", which is used mainly as a food container.

The UN estimates that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped each year in the seas, equivalent to pouring a truck full of plastic per minute, and that 1 million birds and 1,000 sea turtles die as a result of this pollution each year.

The international organization estimates that, if things continue that way, by 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in the oceans.

The Mayor's Office of the Panamanian capital today approved a rule to reduce the use of disposable plastics and encourage the consumption of biodegradable materials in all its facilities and in the activities it organizes.

The municipal agreement also includes promoting the use of biodegradable, compostable or reusable alternatives in open-air public events organized by private individuals, the Mayor's Office said in a statement.

The regulation, introduced by the vice-mayor and environmental ex activist, Raisa Banfield, also obliges the promoters of outdoor events to place containers to dispose of the plastic waste and transport the waste to collection centers for recycling.

The objective of the rule is "to prevent environmental pollution, maintain the ecological balance and avoid the destruction of ecosystems and the excessive increase in the use of all types of disposable plastics," the municipality added.

The 19 percent of the waste that is handled in the sanitary landfill that serves the capital and its surroundings are plastics, only behind the solid waste that represents 30 percent, according to data from the Mayor's Office.

Panama approved last January a pioneering law in Central America, which will come into force in January 2019 and which prohibits the use of disposable plastic bags in any type of commercial establishment.

The parliament of the Central American country will also discuss a bill to regulate the use of expanded polystyrene, a plastic known in Panama as "foam", which is used mainly as a food container.

The UN estimates that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped each year in the seas, equivalent to pouring a truck full of plastic per minute, and that 1 million birds and 1,000 sea turtles die as a result of this pollution each year.

The international organization estimates that, if things continue that way, by 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in the oceans.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panamanian-mayor-approves-rule-reduce-disposable-plastics-7951

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought 5 small items at Super Baru this morning. Sure enough, the bag boy substituted paper bags for the ubiquitous plastic ones. However when I got home I discovered my 5 small items were bagged with 3 paper bags of various sizes. I guess you can train them to use paper instead of plastic but what is needed is to train them that not every item needs its separate bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

ENVIRONMENT: battling the plastics monster

plastic-620x264.png
Post Views: 169
As in the rest of the world, there have been several attempts in Central America to ban the use of some plastic products. Last month in El Salvador, a law initiative was presented to Congress establishing a one-year deadline for companies to replace the use of plastic bags with other materials and  companies producing articles with avocado and corn seed resin, and products with additives that allow the decomposition of plastic in less time

In Panama, on January 19   this year, supermarkets, pharmacies, and retailers were given 18 months to stop using plastic bags, and warehouses and wholesalers got 24 months.

In Guatemala, t the end of 2017, a law was presented to the Congress, already approved by a legislative commission, which proposes to ban the use of plastic bags in the country

In this context, companies in the  plastics  sector seek to innovate in the creation of products, since the beginning of the year Carvajal Empaques  at its plants in El Salvador are doing studies with avocado seed resin, corn resins and products with additives to decompose the plastic in less time (from one to five years). They are currently in the phase of producing the first presentations of plates and glasses, which  will be marketed in early 2019  reports, CentralAmericaData
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/panama-3/environment-battling-the-plastics-monster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the plastic bags are just part of the problem. I recently bought a 16-pack of Scott tissue at PriceSmart, only to discover that each ROLL of toilet paper (within the plastic of 16 rolls) is firmly wrapped in plastic as well. It takes scissors and determination to unwrap each roll. Also, the Member Select brand of papers towels wrapped in plastic (last time an 8-roll) has each 2 rolls also wrapped strongly in plastic. All this use of plastic is totally unnecessary!

I buy the Member Select paper towels for the clinics...we use a lot of them, but they are not much better than 1-ply toilet paper. For my house, I buy the Bounty brand. More expensive, but they last forever...and the individual rolls within the plastic wrapping are NOT again wrapped in plastic.

Edited by Dottie Atwater
addition
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

6 months countdown to polyethylene shopping bags farewell

bag-620x264.jpg
Post Views: 318
 
Plastic polyethylene bags will  disappear from Panama  supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers, in just six according to   a law introduced  in  January of this year but  the countdown for warehouses and wholesalers is extended until January 2020

The law does not limit the use of plastic bags in the country, but  prohibits the use of polyethylene bags, a polymer derived from oil that requires large amounts of energy for its manufacture and may take over a 100 years to degrade.

Faced with the changes that are looming in consumer habits, several supermarket chains and users have chosen to implement alternatives to minimize the use of this type of material, but  for environmentalists, the transformations have not been significant.

In the case of the Colombian retail company Justo y Bueno , which operates  grocery stores and supermarkets, it offers customers three types of possibilities to make purchases: purchase plastic bags for 10 cents, buy a reusable ecological bag for 74 cents or use the cardboard boxes they have in the  packing area for free.

Super 99 and Riba Smith have programmed campaigns to promote the use of reusable bags.

But, he majority of users continue to do their shopping and carry it in polyethylene traditional bags, despite the efforts of the business and environmental groups to reduce the use of the material.

“I have not seen a real change taking place in the face of the measure that will be implemented from July next year, and that is worrisome,” says Susana Serracín , president of the Alliance for Conservation and Development ( ACD).

She  says that  consumers are not responsible in relation to the use of polyethylene bags. “Nor do I see the businesses being more energetic on this issue. Often the packers grab two or three bags  for  a single purchase.”

But when the bags are gone from the stores, reusable will be forcibly back in fashion, and there will be less plastic in the world’s oceans.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/6-months-countdown-to-polyethylene-shopping-bags-farewell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moderator comment: For more information about WYD, see: http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/3043-world-youth-day-wyd-in-panama-and-pope-francis-visits-panama-22-27-january-2019/

Quote

Panama will deliver reusable bottles to avoid excess of plastic in WYD

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 15:03

Diseño sin título (4)_1.jpg

Pilgrims who will travel to Panama next January to attend the World Youth Day (WYD) will receive a reusable bottle, a measure that seeks to reduce the consumption of plastic during the religious event, organizers have informed today.

The reusable bottle is part of the so-called "pilgrim kit", which will be delivered to young people officially registered in WYD and which also includes, among other items, a cap, a T-shirt, a scarf, a prayer book and a biodegradable bag to deposit the waste.

Panama will host, between January 22 and 27, 2019, the WYD, one of the most important events of the Catholic Church, which every three years brings together thousands of young people from all over the world with the Pope.

The visit of Francisco, who will arrive in Panama on January 23, has generated immense interest not only in this country but throughout Central America, since the last pontiff who traveled to the region was John Paul II in 1983.

"The environmental component is present throughout the organization of the WYD, including the management of waste during the central events", the organizing committee said in a statement on Monday.

Pope Francis' agenda includes mass masses and meetings with the Panamanian Government and the Central American bishopric, as well as visits to a youth prison and a social shelter directed by the Church.

The Panamanian Episcopal Conference reported in November that there are already 226,000 registered pilgrims and about 5,000 accredited journalists.

Plastic pollution is a serious environmental problem that affects the entire region, including Panama.

The UN estimates that eight million tons of plastic reach the seas every year, equivalent to pouring a truck full of plastic a minute, and estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastics than fishes in the oceans.

Panama approved last January a pioneering law in Central America, which will come into force in January 2019 and which prohibits the use of disposable plastic bags in any type of commercial establishment.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panama-will-deliver-reusable-bottles-avoid-excess-plastic-wyd-8704

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Plastic Bags Prohibition: New Requirements

In Panama, rules were established for both manufacturers and importers to ensure that there is no polyethylene in the bags used in the country.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

At the beginning of 2018, a law was passed prohibiting the use of polyethylene bags in supermarkets, self-service stores, warehouses or shops in general for the transport of products or goods, a restriction that will enter into force on July 19 of this year.

See "Panama: Use of Plastic Bags Banned" and "Plastic Bags Banned in Panama"

"The requirements for applying for a Certificate of Conformity at the MICI are: completing the application form (available online), indicating the standard to which the product applies and providing the following documents: product technical file, safety sheet or product safety data sheet, original or authenticated copy of the Public Registry (in force), quality certificate of the production batch, and copy of the standard that applies to the product or process to be delivered to the testing laboratory that will perform the tests. For the certification of batches of products, processes or production methods is necessary to deliver all required documentation," said the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) through a statement.

From the MICI statement:

April 2, 2019. In their mission to facilitate the country's economic development - in accordance with environmental sustainability - directors of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) and the Consumer Protection and Competition Defense Authority (ACODECO), held an informative meeting with representatives of the main supermarket chains, as well as importers/distributors and manufacturers of plastic bags, which, from July 19 of this year, cannot contain polyethylene.

Read full statement (In Spanish).

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Countdown to elimination of plastic bags in stores

7F84A8CC-1F7E-4BB2-9903-DD6331206BE9.jpeg

Ticking down to July 20

Posted 14/05/2019

The countdown clock in Parque Urracá originally installed to mark off the days leading to World Youth Day, and re-activated for the weeks to the May 5  election, is back in action to mark the regressive count towards July 20, when in Panama it will no longer be possible to use plastic bags in stores.

The latest countdown is an initiative of the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (Ancon), which has stressed the importance of eliminating the use of plastic products.

Retail stores have until July 19 to provide paper or reusable bags. In addition, the customer can bring shopping bags from home.

Officials of the Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition Authority will make operatives to ensure that the reusable bags are sold at cost to consumers.

Rita Spadafora, executive director of Ancon, said it is the first initiative in the region to combat an element as polluting as plastic bags. She said that the elimination of plastic bags is the first step and in the National Assembly there is also another draft bill to eliminate the use of foam for food packaging.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/countdown-to-elimination-of-plastic-bags-in-stores

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may become a good example of the law of unintended consequences.  I completely agree with the intent of removing plastic bags from general use, but the results may not be what is intended.  The law as I read it, is that retailers must provide paper bags OR sell reusable ones. Given the choice, I think that a retailer would choose the latter, no cost to the retailer.   How many customers are going to buy what they currently get for free. Many ex-pats recognize the need to use reusable bags.  IMHO, not so, some other of us and some Panamanians.  Take a look at how most of the trash is packaged for pick-up. I see a number of small bags from the retailers.  If plastic bags or free alternatives become unavailable, we run the risk of a garbage avalanche.   Yes, not only the danger to sea life but I see them hanging from trees all along the roads.  This is a problem, but maybe not as large as the one that is created by removing a free packaging of trash.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is that paper bags are not going to be particularly popular during the rainy season - they don't hold anything once they get wet or even dampish...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt that retailers will be providing paper bags. After all, why would they provide something for free when they can sell the reusable bags? (Reusable for a short time--I saw in Romero yesterday the ones they are selling for 75 cents. They are very flimsy.)

By not providing plastic bags, the retailers will save a bundle that they apparently won't pass on to the consumers.

Other than the possible unintended consequences that Alan Nilson mentioned, I agree that it's a good idea to limit the use of plastic bags. BUT...why isn't there an alternative? Some time back I noticed that El Rey in David was providing biodegradable plastic bags. Will they no longer do that? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The alternative is to buy your own sturdy bags. I bought some Pricesmart bags many years ago, and they're still going strong though they look a little ratty. I recently purchased online a mesh bag for fruits and vegetables and two inexpensive but good quality nylon bags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was recently provided a paper straw at Mike’s Global Grill. It seemed to hold up well during our entire dining experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People will figure it out. We lived without ‘plastic everything’ when I was a kid. The stuff is now choking the world.

Personally I keep a couple of strong shopping bags in the car as Bonnie mentioned. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

13 hours ago, Jim Bondoux said:

My guess is that paper bags are not going to be particularly popular during the rainy season - they don't hold anything once they get wet or even dampish...

Trees need to be harvested to make paper bags and I feel going back to them is regressive. Too bad hemp production is so limited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I always keep a bag or two handy in the car when I go shopping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Panama leads as plastic bags exit supermarkets, retail stores

reusable-bags.jpg

REUSABLE bags sold at cost price are now the norm

Posted 19/07/2019

Starting Saturday, July 20  Panama will become the first country in Central America to enforce a law prohibiting the use of plastic bags in supermarkets, pharmacies, and retail outlets.

Reusable bags made of materials other than polyethylene must be sold at cost or the store will face fines from the Consumer Protection Authority (Acodeco) .

Panama is the first country in the region to ban polyethylene plastic bags in commercial establishments, a measure that will help reduce the volume of garbage that affects the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, according to the United Nations Program for the Environment.

Some  87 countries have introduced regulations on polyethylene products, and another 12 have announced imminent actions to control or eliminate their use.

Acodeco spokesman, Jerónimo Ramírez, said that 174 officials will be verifying the fulfillment of the new law governing retail outlets which in January will be extended warehouses and wholesalers.

The proceeds of the fines imposed for non-compliance with the law will be allocated to recycling and teaching programs on  environmental topics

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/panama-leads-as-plastic-bags-exit-supermarkets-retail-stores-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Panama says adios to plastic bags as watchdogs standby

plastic.jpg

Posted 20/07/2019

On Saturday, July 20 Panama became the first country in Central  America to ban the use of plastic bags in retail outlets to help reduce environmental pollution.

Supermarkets were doing a brisk sale of re-usable bags, on sale for as little as 70 cents.

It was a first step with other plans to limit single-use of plastic items like drinking straws and disposable cutlery. Panama environmental groups said they will present more bills to protect the environment.

Some 300 officials of the Consumer Protection Authority (Acodeco) were out across the country ensuring compliance with the new rules, and ready to level sanctions

Over 80 countries are planning similar steps.  Canada, for example, will prohibit the use of plastic bags, cigarettes, cutlery and plastic stirring sticks in 2021.

The objective is to eliminate harmful waste that damages ecosystems, especially marine life.

A report by specialists from the European Commission concluded that 80% of garbage in the world's oceans is plastic, due to slow decomposition of polyethylene
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/panama-says-adios-to-plastic-bags-as-watchdogs-standby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Plastic Bags: Ban Applies in Panama

After the law banning the use of polyethylene bags in supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail stores came into force in the country on July 20, the businessmen say the restriction should be applied gradually.

Monday, July 22, 2019

18 months after the new law was published in the Gaceta Oficial, it entered into force for retail establishments, but, in the case of wholesalers, the use of free polyethylene bags will be implemented from January 20, 2020, considering that the norm establishes a 24-month period from the enactment of the law. See full publication in Gaceta Oficial.

According to Jorge Juan de la Guardia, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), the new law "requires a regulation that contributes both to its effective implementation and to avoid adverse impacts on different productive sectors of the country."

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

According to the president of the guild, "... In order to facilitate the greatest possible viability of this law, our guild has held several meetings with directors of the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (ACODECO) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI), determining which rules to apply, beyond the abolition of plastic bags in commercial establishments, require an adequate gradualness in their execution so as not to cause collateral damage to commerce and industry, as well as wise decisions as to the materials that will replace the mentioned packages, since many of the substitutes include harmful components such as polyethylene."

The hierarch explains that "... It is usual that the introduction of measures such as this implies adjustments in aspects ranging from the chemical composition of new packaging and the scheduling of inventories, to the cost of home delivery of users, including the rate of penalties to be applied for non-compliance or violation of the relevant provision, the amount of which will go directly to the National Treasury and not to the ACODECO, which has primary responsibility for overseeing compliance.

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still at a loss as to what I'm supposed to use to carry my cat's poop to the trash can.  I don't think my reusable grocery bag is a good alternative. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...