Costa Rica says NO to plastic bags

The Legislative Assembly of the Environmental Commission approved the addition of a new article of the Law 8839 on waste management, which – if approved by the General Assembly – would prohibit companies to package products in one-way plastic bags.

Period of 5 years

The proposal would give companies five years to stop the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags. Supermarkets and other shops would then have the offer bags out of reusable materials or biodegradable plastic for the costumers.

plastic waste is dangerousThere are exceptions

Not biodegradable plastics would only be excluded for the preservation or conservation of foodstuffs or other products in which the use of alternative packaging methods is not possible.

Penalty for non-compliance

In addition to the ban, the proposed amendment brings heavy fines for non-compliance with it. Violators will be very expensive for those in charge.

What happens next?

If the proposal will be approved, experts from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment would have a period of six months to outline the steps to implement the new rules and to define the criteria by which plastic bags could be defined as biodegradable.

More information about the environmental protection in Costa Rica can be found on the blog for relaxing traveling tips in Costa Rica.