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Source: Flickr: Creative Commons

Costa Rica Sets Goal To Become The First Country To Ban Single-Use Plastic

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The Costa Rica's Ministries of Health and Environment and Energy has announced a new initiative supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that would ban all single use plastics in Costa Rica by 2021. EcoWatch reports that the decision was released in June for World Environment Day, then in mid-July there was a joint statement on the UNDP website from Environment and Energy minister Edgar Gutiérrez, Health minister María Esther Anchía, and Alice Shackelford, who represents UNDP for Costa Rica on their plan.

Costa Rica News reports the alternative is made from a cellulose acetate, which is extracted from plants, mostly yucca starch or chitin out of the exoskeleton of shrimps. Chemistry students Daniela Palomo, José Eduardo Castro and Sebastián Hernández, at the Universidad de Costa Rica, experimented with material made out of bananas. They created a substance that disintegrated within 18 months and also released a pesticide treatment as it melted.