In a major win for environmentalists and marine ecosystems, Chile has passed a plastic regulation bill that would cut the country’s plastic waste by over 23,000 tons per year. Among other things, the new law will take aim at reducing plastic waste in the food industry and will also introduce a compostable plastic certification scheme.
“The approval of this project, supported across the board by parliamentarians and civil society, is a milestone in the care and protection of Chile’s environment,” said Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Environment Minister.
The new legislation will target single-use plastics by restricting restaurants and delivery services from offering hard-to-recycle items, such as plastic plates, cutlery, cups, straws, food containers, and plastic bags.
On top of that, the law will encourage the use of recyclable and compostable materials by creating a certification program to distinguish truly biodegradable plastics and mandating that items with this certificate be clearly labeled.
The legislation will also require beverage companies to run informative campaigns about the importance of reusable bottles in the fight against plastic waste. Overall, the goal will be to transition Chile towards a circular economy for plastics.
According to EcoWatch, the bill is expected to ban single-use Styrofoam containers and smaller plastic items over the next six months, while the entire program will be implemented by 2024.