After the 2018 attempt to ban plastic bags in all coastal cities of Chile (see Plasteurope.com of 16.10.2017
), the South American countrys legislature has finally passed a plastic regulation law that will target single-use plastics in the food industry, while also aiming to introduce a certification for compostable plastics.
The law seeks to ban hard-to-recycle items from being used in restaurants, casinos, social clubs, kitchens, coffee/tea shops, bakeries and bars, in person or through delivery services. These items include plastic plates, cutlery, lids, cups, to-go containers, straws, sachets, and stirrers. The certificate programme is to be devised to distinguish compostable plastics, to mandate the labelling of such plastics in the future. The law also states that any establishment selling drinks must offer customers reusable alternatives to SUP bottles, and will come into place after six months of its publication in the official gazette.
In 2019, marine environment protection organisation Oceana Chile (www.oceana.org
) and non-profit Plastic Oceans Chile (www.plasticoceans.org
) presented a report to the Chilean government, specifying the extent of the plastic pollution problem. This report became the basis for a bill that was introduced in May 2019. A study done by Plastic Oceans Chile in March 2021 revealed that consumption of SUPs by food-related establishments in Chile is 23,240 t/y.
Carolina Schmidt, the countrys environment minister, said in a statement, The approval of this project, supported across the board by parliamentarians and society, is a milestone in the care and protection of Chile's environment. A responsible but ambitious project that allows us to take over more than 23,000 tonnes of single-use plastics that are generated every year by places such as restaurants, bars, cafes and delivery.