Panama leads as plastic bags exit supermarkets, retail stores

REUSABLE bags sold at cost price are now the norm

2,444Views 6Comments 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


Comments 6

Rosalind Laing

It is a great start. The cloth bags can be cleaned and re-used. Paper bags are now appearing for smaller items. New markets are opening for entrepreneurs to explore hemp and other solutions. For those addicted to plastic - get over it. I had an eco.friendly childhood without plastic or nylon. we lived well.

4 months ago

It is ironic that while plastic may not be used by retailers, we are required to buy it to throw garbage away. I really don't like being told i have to buy something to throw it away! As for the nasty cloth bags, they are washable and have their place. I just wonder why, in this transition, there wasn't some encouragement of the agriculture sector to grow hemp, and some investment in processing it into paper and fabric? It could be such a double win to remove something harmful, while replacing it with something widely beneficial that would boost the domestic economy.

4 months ago

Well done Panama!

4 months ago

LEFT-WING ENVIRONMENTAL WACKO BULL FECES. They should never have gone to the plastic bags--paper bags were best--TREES GROW FASTER THAN OIL WELLS. (Environmental wackos , results of "public "education" don;t know this)

4 months ago
Virgil E Eaves Jr

So now now I have to buy my own plastic bags even though I always reused the handy free ones and disposed responsibly. I just ordered another thousand. I won’t use those nasty, leaking, germ filled cloth bags. Stupid law.

4 months ago

Bravo Panama!!!!!!

4 months ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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