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Business people in Panama join plastic bag eradication plan

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Businesspeople in Panama join plastic bag eradication plan

Sun, 07/22/2018 - 18:11

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Businesspeople will support citizen education to eradicate the use of plastic bags in Panama and help reduce pollution, according to the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP).

The president of the CCIAP, Gabriel Barletta, said in a statement that the union "joined forces with the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON), in order to educate regarding the entry into force of the law" which adopts measures to promote the use of reusable bags in commercial establishments to contribute to the positive development of the country".

Barletta warned that "the rules to be applied in the country in this regard require an appropriate gradual implementation, to avoid collateral damage to trade and industry, as well as correct decisions regarding the materials that will replace the aforementioned packaging, since many of the substitutes also include harmful components".

And, especially, public campaigns are required to raise cultural awareness in favor of environment in society, he stressed.

"With the enactment of this law, Panama takes a significant step to combat one of the most polluting and long-lived elements on the planet. The disposable plastic bags that are usually distributed in shops in general may take longer to degrade," he added.

The leader added that "the pollution generated mostly by plastic bags accumulates today in almost any place on Earth, polluting waterways and by extension the aquatic species that inhabit them and the populations that feed on them".

In fact, plastic pollution destabilizes the balance of ecosystems in oceans, rivers and any water current around the world, he added.

According to Barletta, the conservationist policies of countries that fight global warming are beginning to reduce this pollution in a considerable way and worthy of emulation by all nations.

In Europe environmental awareness grows every day and with it citizen participation, which is pushing for legal reforms, such as those that Panama is now adopting concerning plastic packaging, he said.

These policies motivate the collaboration of socially responsible companies, achieving in one year the collection of 14 million tons of plastic garbage; 60 percent of the waste.

On January 19, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela passed the law that prohibits the use of plastic bags giving retail stores 18 months to dispose of them and 24 months to wholesalers, following the enactment of the law, which occurred that same day in the Official Gazette 28448-B.

The exception will be for when it has to be used, for reasons of asepsis, for processed and pre-prepared foods and wet inputs.

Instead of polythene bags, traders can sell, but at cost, reusable bags, which will be supervised by the Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition Authority (ACODECO).

According to the law, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment of Panama to launch awareness campaigns and national awareness on the use of non-degradable and non-biodegradable material.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/panama/businesspeople-panama-join-plastic-bag-eradication-plan-7379

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