As of tomorrow July 20, it will be prohibited to deliver plastic bags with polyethylene in supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers in Panama. This is what the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) has announced at the beginning of last year.
The law 1 of January 19, 2018, established a period of 18 months to make the progressive replacement of bags for supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers and 24 months for warehouses and wholesalers. According to the Law, merchants may choose to charge for bags or use the reusable bags.
The Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) will be responsible for ensuring the application of the standard. This means that this entity will check that the establishments effectively comply with the elimination of polyethylene bags.
The Ministry of the Environment will develop national awareness campaigns about the non-degradable and non-biodegradable material, as well as the advantages of the use of reusable bags for the environment.
It will remain at the merchants’ authority whether or not they charge for the reusable bags.
Acodeco will be responsible for imposing sanctions or fines on those who do not comply with the law.The income from fines will be allocated to recycling and teaching programs on issues related to non-polluting materials.
Panama is the first country in Central America to prohibit the use of plastic bags in commercial premises, a measure that will help reduce the volume of garbage that affects the oceans.
So, don’t forget your reusable bag the next time you go shopping!