With 30 days to go into effect the rule that prohibits shops in general deliver plastic bags to their customers, about 100 companies have downloaded the form that authorizes the sale of reusable bags.
This law does not limit the use of plastic bags in the country, which is prohibited is the use of polyethylene bags, a polymer derived from oil that requires large amounts of energy for its manufacture and may take longer to degrade more of a century.
According to the United Nations, it is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped each year in the seas and that, if things continue that way, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
Óscar García Cardoze, administrator of the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) , recalled that retailers can sell reusable bags, but at cost, as established by law.
Based on the orientation process that has been carried out for 18 months, García trusts that more than 80% of the businesses will comply with the regulations that prohibit the use of polyethylene bags.
“In other processes, such as price control, we have achieved a compliance factor of over 90%, so we could expect something similar in this area,” he said.
Some businesses are already using paper bags to ship small products, while large supermarkets invite their customers to have their products packed in cardboard boxes.
On July 20, more than 60 Acodeco officials nationwide will go out to verify compliance with Law 1 of January 19, 2018. “We hope not to impose a large number of fines, but surely we will find stores that did not take the necessary measures to comply with the law, “said Garcia.
The norm will not be applicable when for reasons of asepsis or to avoid germs, the polyethylene bags must be used to contain foods or wet inputs elaborated or pre-prepared, point that is not to the liking of organizations that support the care of the environment.