Panama moves against plastic shopping bags

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PLASTIC bags in Panama shops and supermarkets are on the way out pending the signature of President Juan Carlos Varela.

The National Assembly which has been roiled in accusations of Deputies putting their names on state owned vehicles to curry favor with constituents closed the week with the approval in the third debate of Bill 492, which prohibits plastic bags in shops and promotes the use of those that are reusable.

The vote in the full Legislature took place after the presentation of a video by  PRD lawmaker Samir Gozaine,  one of the proponents of the bill.

The Earth can live without humans, but humans can not live without the Earth,”  the Deputy said.

If the Bill is sanctioned, commercial establishments must replace plastic bags progressively

over  12 to 24 months, with reusable bags or face fines  by  The  Consumer Protection Authority (ACODECO)

The initiative has received applause and criticism.

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