Plastic polyethylene bags will disappear from Panama supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers, in just six according to a law introduced in January of this year but the countdown for warehouses and wholesalers is extended until January 2020
The law does not limit the use of plastic bags in the country, but prohibits the use of polyethylene bags, a polymer derived from oil that requires large amounts of energy for its manufacture and may take over a 100 years to degrade.
Faced with the changes that are looming in consumer habits, several supermarket chains and users have chosen to implement alternatives to minimize the use of this type of material, but for environmentalists, the transformations have not been significant.
In the case of the Colombian retail company Justo y Bueno , which operates grocery stores and supermarkets, it offers customers three types of possibilities to make purchases: purchase plastic bags for 10 cents, buy a reusable ecological bag for 74 cents or use the cardboard boxes they have in the packing area for free.
Super 99 and Riba Smith have programmed campaigns to promote the use of reusable bags.
But, he majority of users continue to do their shopping and carry it in polyethylene traditional bags, despite the efforts of the business and environmental groups to reduce the use of the material.
"I have not seen a real change taking place in the face of the measure that will be implemented from July next year, and that is worrisome," says Susana Serracín , president of the Alliance for Conservation and Development ( ACD).
She says that consumers are not responsible in relation to the use of polyethylene bags. "Nor do I see the businesses being more energetic on this issue. Often the packers grab two or three bags for a single purchase.”
But when the bags are gone from the stores, reusable will be forcibly back in fashion, and there will be less plastic in the world’s oceans.
Some stores - Like Riba Smith - have recycle bins at least for some items. We do that and save the more difficult stuff for Ciudad del Saber. And we keep reusable bags in the car and use them every shopping trip. I even take them into other store - like shoe stores, Felix Maduro, drug stores.
Technology exists to process all types of trash, except radiation, without emissions into a synthetic gas which is used to produce electricity or liquid fuels. Plastic has a high BTU quality and produces more synthetic gas. The process recycles non BTU (ie. glass, metal) items and nothing is sent to the landfill. The Panama government is aware of this technology and has been presented with its benefits.
"No one should eat meat." Why not? Eat a balanced diet ... meat, vegetables, wine.
No one should eat meat. Or use plastic bags. Or styrofoam. Or (insert preferred personal legal mandate here)
Perhaps a recycling center or drop off spot for used plastic bags with an incentive of some sort to entice people to actually take them there. Maybe there could be a bonus if the bag was filled with trash collected from the side of the road. (sarc)
I bought a reusable bag at Rey, the packer promptly put it into a plastic bag.
This law stretches the boundaries of stupid. Now, instead of having a ready supply of reusable bags for around the home, we have to buy them. Now, we must use unsuitable pasteboard and/or cloth to transport leaking, bleeding perishables. Cloth absorbes these toxic plant, animal and other liquids, becoming serious health hazards contaminated with a litany of life threatening larvae, disease and poisons. The only mitigation is to buy a new bag(s) every shoppping trip or expend monumental amounts of water, energy and chemicals washing them after every use. Education, not regulation. Oh, but educated people might start questioning the march to leftism and we just can’t have that can we?
styrofoam next, please. There's no reason for customers not to bring their own bags when shopping, preferably non-plastic. There is one exception and that is I think stores that sell fresh meat products need to plastic bag (improved, please) to prevent leaking of blood or poultry liquid from contaminating the customer's bags, some of which were purchased at considerable cost to last. Some meat bags are so bad that despite double-bagging at the meat counter, they still leak blood and meat fluids. What can be done about this? It's not fair that if a customer presents containers (which they purchase at sometimes a considerable cost) at the check-out to have them unusable for future use because of meat contamination.