Chile is the first country in South America to introduce a ban on plastic bags
Chileans are the first people in the Americas to vote for a total ban of plastic bags in a bid to reduce plastic waste.
Chile is the seventh largest country in South America with more than 18 million inhabitants. However more than 3.4 billion bags are used in Chile every year. That means 200 bags per person!
Several cities along the southern Chilean coast, already limit the use of plastic bags since last year. Now the Chileans have voted for a law to have a complete ban on bags for the whole country.
"We have taken a fundamental step to take better care of Chile and the planet. Today we are more prepared to leave a better planet to our children, grandchildren and the generations to come". (Chilean President Sebastián Piñera)
Big retailers and supermarkets have to stop of handing out plastic bags within the next twelve months. In two years time the law will come into effect for smaller shops.
In the meantime, when packing any purchases, shops are limited to hand out a maximum of two bags per customer. Plastic rubbish bags are still allowed to be used.
Strict bans of plastic bag were first introduced in Bangladesh in 2002. But bans are also in effect in some other countries, including Kenya and Rwanda on the African continent. Mauritius, a small African country in the Indian Ocean, prohibits the supply, manufacture and import of plastic bags.
source: Santiago Times