June 18, 2021 #SustainableChile #Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Chile is the first Latin American country to ban single-use plastics

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The regulation, which will come into force at the end of this year, is a new milestone that reinforces the country's commitment to the care and protection of the environment.  

According to a study conducted by Oceana and Plastic Oceans, food and delivery establishments in Chile generate 23,240 tons of single-use plastic annually. This figure is equivalent to the weight of 116 blue whales or five Olympic swimming pools full of waste, which often end up polluting the seas.

However, a bill recently passed in our country seeks to provide an urgent response to this problem by prohibiting and limiting the use of single-use plastics and other disposable items in food stores and delivery services, such as cups, cutlery, plates and light bulbs, among many others.

The regulation establishes that, if consumption is within the establishment, the delivery of single-use products will be prohibited, regardless of the material of which they are composed, allowing only the use of reusable products. In addition, home delivery services of prepared food will not be allowed to use plastics, unless they are certified compostable plastics, while plastic bottles must be made from plastic collected and recycled in the country.

In Chile, only 4.5% of plastics are currently recycled, so this initiative - promoted jointly by the Ministry of the Environment, civil society organizations and parliamentarians - will considerably boost the national recycling industry and, therefore, the circular economy.

Chilean Plastics Pact

In 2019 Chile joined the Global Plastics Covenant Network, which seeks to drive the transition from a linear to a circular economy for plastics, being the first and only Latin American country to do so. This network - whose mission is to translate into action the commitment of different actors in the ecosystem through concrete goals - is also composed of the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Portugal, the United States, Poland and Canada.

The law banning single-use plastics is one of the axes of the roadmap towards 2025 that the Chilean Plastics Pact contemplates. In this line, it will also seek to promote that a third of household and non-household plastic packaging be recycled, reused or composted, and that it be made of 25% recycled material.


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