Bill aims to reduce sights like this
A National Assembly Subcommittee on Population, Environment and Development is meeting to analyze a draft bill to regulate the reduction and replacement of single-use plastics by 2021.
Tania Arosemena, from the Marviva Foundation, urged both consumers and the various sectors of society to provide their input and ideas on the initiative. The initiative presented by the deputy Edison Broce, seeks to reduce the use of single-use plastic materials.
Provide our input where? There is soooo much needing to be said! Other countries have had to impose, and enforce, fines. That is a rapidly understood education tool, but education is not the only thing necessary to stop littering. We need ways of disposing of garbage. Public trash receptacles make good sense. There are currently people being paid to pick trash up off the side of some roads. Why not just pay the removal services to empty trash cans? We have one of those little baskets by the side of the road, for holding our trash bags until they're picked up. Pedestrians constantly leave their trash in this basket, because there is no other place to put it! We used to line our in-house garbage cans with reused paper bags from the grocery store. We put the full bags in a can with a cover, in the alley, where they were emptied out of the can, into the garbage truck, and the empty can was put back in place for next week's use. While we no longer get plastic bags with our groceries - a good thing, we are now buying plastic bags to put garbage in, only for it to be transferred from house to truck. Would the garbage services be willing to empty cans, instead of throwing bags? Consumers need to boycott single use plastics and insist on alternatives. PriceSmart produce should come in compostable cardboard containers, not styrofoam. Until that change is made, protest by returning all your styro and plastic to the store where it was purchased. Drinks belong in refundable glass bottles. Plastic packaging needs to be biodegradable or changed to cardboard. Cardboard needs to be made from hemp, not trees. Growing hemp should be encouraged and government should make financing available for small businesses to process it. We've just gone way too far down the wrong road, without considering the consequences of our choices, which are now killing us. Many other choices are available, and they will require more effort than simply telling people to stop littering, but they also offer opportunity for Panamanians to become leaders in addressing the plastics crisis.
The less government regulation and the more education, the better. Littering is only a problem because of the lack of funding for education.