Colombia halves major store plastic bag consumption, ramps up deterrents

Colombia’s consumption of single-use plastic bags at major stores more than halved in the past 18 months and the government is mulling greater deterrents to their use, as the outlook for applications of plastics and petrochemicals grows gloomier in the South American country. A program promoted by Colombia’s Ministry of Environmental Affairs’ to reduce the use of plastic bags in large stores and supermarkets resulted in a 54% decrease in the consumption of single-use plastic bags over the past 18 months, the ministry said in mid-August. The decrease in consumption of fossil fuel-based single-use plastic bags is calculated based on self-reporting required of large stores and supermarkets under current regulations. And the deterrents could ramp up. “The government will even consider increasing the tax from the current 50 pesos/bag (1.56 cents/bag) to 100 pesos/bag (3.13 cents/bag),” said Minister of Environmental Affairs Ricardo Lozano. The minister also indicated the scope of the charge could be expanded, because many small commercial establishments are not currently subject to the regulations. According to the ministry, the program aims to end single-use plastic bag consumption and to replace them with compostable, more environmental friendly raw materials, in about a year. Lozano said in an interview… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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