As of this Thursday, the use and marketing of single-use plastic products is prohibited
The decomposition period is long. Plastic can rings are estimated to take 400 years to degrade.
As of next Thursday, July 1, Law 187 will take effect, which regulates the reduction and replacement of single-use plastics.
This law arises in response to the excessive use of single-use plastics, and seeks to provide sustainable alternatives that generate less impact on the environment and health.
Single-use plastics are those created to be used only once. To these, additives are added to accelerate the degradation, however they generate negative pollutants to the environment.
In addition to this, the decomposition period is long, so they will be sources of contamination for a long time. For example, it is estimated that reeds take 200 years to degrade, while plastic can rings take up to 400 years.
For this reason, as of Thursday, the use and marketing of single-use plastic products is prohibited, being the following:
- Plastic ear swabs
- Plastic covers for laundry clothes
- Plastic toothpicks
- Plastic cocktail sticks
- Plastic candy sticks
- Rings for cans
- Plastic rods to hold balloons
By July 2022, the use and commercialization of plastic egg packaging, plastic stirrers and disposable plastic plates is prohibited. While as of December 31, 2023, the use and commercialization of plastic reeds will be eliminated.
Before these measures, there are the sustainable alternatives of reusable, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials, such as wood, cardboard and others.
Panama seeks to establish trade policies and measures that strengthen the reduction of the use of plastics.
Currently 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year. Furthermore, 60% to 80% of marine litter is plastic.
In Panama, the use of plastic bags has already been eliminated and replaced by reusable bags.