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.
Consumers and retailers are aware that starting tomorrow – when Law No. 1 of January 2018 , which prohibits the use of plastic bags – comes into effect, they must take their reusable bags to supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers.
Cristel Fuentes, a housewife who goes daily to the mini-supermarket Alicia, in the village of Balboa, district of La Chorrera, is ready. He said he has “bags of different sizes to start using them.”
He narrated that at the counter of the mini-supermarket two weeks ago they placed two signs that inform about the new rule that prohibits the use of polyethylene bags for the transport of products or merchandise.
The law also requires changes to Rodny Jurado, a food vendor. Now you will have to deliver the food plates to your customers without “cartridge”, because working with reusable bags would not be profitable for your business.
During a tour of stores that are dedicated to retail this means proved that some took precautions to deal with the change of culture that entails the application of this law.
For example, there are minisuper owners who are waiting for bags made of materials other than polyethylene. One of them, who identified himself as “Jhony”, explained that the bags have to be sold at cost, because if they sell them more expensive they will be fined by the Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition Authority (Acodeco) .
There are consumers who already ask that they pack their products in reusable bags or bags. Roberto Cisneros
In other locations, such as pharmacies, they put reusable bags on sale at prices ranging between 50 cents and a dollar, depending on size.
Even, in the Market of Supplies more and more people use some “carts of purchase” – instead of the typical bags of colors- to take their products, and some vendors have available supermarket carts.
Panama is the first country in Central America 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.
In fact, the program indicates that 87 countries have introduced regulations on polyethylene products, and another 12 have announced imminent actions to control or eliminate their use.
The spokesperson of Acodeco, Jerónimo Ramírez, informed that 174 officials of this entity will be verifying the fulfillment of this norm in all the country, whose first period of implementation begins in supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers. While in January 2020 should reach the warehouses and wholesalers.
Ramírez said that Acodeco’s commitment is to make sure that the stores are not delivering their customers polyethylene bags.
The entity also has the responsibility to make sure that the merchants that sell the bags do so at the price it cost them, given that Law No. 1 of January 19, 2018 does not seek to make profits from this activity.
Likewise, they must verify that these stores have a copy of the Certificate of Evaluation of conformity granted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries to demonstrate that the bags are not made with polyethylene.
The proceeds of the fines imposed for non-compliance with the law will be allocated to recycling and teaching programs on topics related to polluting materials.