On Wednesday, Chile's senate has passed a bill that will prohibit the use of plastic bags in stores, with a vote in their House of Representatives overwhelmingly in favor of the measure, with 134 supporting the bill and one abstention. According to The Independent, the new law would give large retailers one year to phase out the use of plastic bags, and smaller businesses two years.
This makes Chile the first country in the Americas to ban plastic bags, and officially recognize how important such a ban would be in the effort to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic waste.
En Chile tendremos una ley que prohibirá la entrega de bolsas plásticas en todo el territorio. Seremos así el 1er país de América en tener una regulación sobre el tema. Celebremos por nuestro medio ambiente tan afectado por contaminación de plásticos. #ChaoBolsasPlasticas pic.twitter.com/XXaQXcbqRX— WWF Chile (@WWFChile) May 31, 2018
At first, the measure was only meant to ban plastic bags in Patagonia, but it was approved by both the senate and president for the entire country. The Association of Plastic Industries registered Chile as using 3,400 million plastic bags per year, or 200 per person.
They added the astonishing statistic that it takes only a minute to produce a single plastic bag, and each one is used, on average, for fifteen-to-thirty-minutes. They then each take approximately 400 years to degrade.
Telesur reports that the Minister of the Environment, Marcela Cubillos, said the country needs a larger cultural change for people to start replacing plastic with reusable bags.
The ministry has launched a website, chaobolsasplasticas.cl, to help educate citizens about the new law and to recognize the members of Congress who have been working towards the measure for the last decade. A number of coastal communities in Chile had already adopted the ban.
"The site contains the answers to citizens' questions about the implementation of the law if approved, and a map with the 58 communes of the country that already have a regulation on plastic bags," says a spokesperson.
Did you know that Valparaiso is home to more than 95 national monuments, of which the UNESCO Neighborhood of Cerro Alegre! @gonpicture ¿Sabías que? En Valparaíso existen más de 95 monumentos nacionales, un casco histórico declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la @UNESCO, un puerto y sus característicos cerros que cubren la ciudad de colores ¡Imperdible! @gonpicture . . . . . . . . . . . . #Chile #Southamerica #Valparaiso #city #street #colorful #architecture #hills #travel #travelgram #visitChile #Ad #Like #Chilegram
The idea was first floated in September by president Michelle Bachelet, while she addressed the United Nations General Assembly and stated, “We are going to present a bill that will ban the usage of plastic bags in coastal cities within the next 12 months."
“We are at a key turning point in humanity’s history,” she said, adding the country need to take responsibility for their part in climate change and “dare to change our production models.”
The country's current president, Sebastián Piñera, then expanded it to the entire country after assuming his position.
Hoy se aprobó la ley #ChaoBolsasPlásticas. Hemos dado un paso fundamental para un mejor cuidado de Chile y el planeta. Hoy estamos mejor preparados para legarle un mejor país a nuestros hijos, nietos y las generaciones que vendrán. pic.twitter.com/aIpafXb6x0— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) May 30, 2018
“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,” he wrote on Twitter, according to the Independent.
What can and can't be served at Paisley Park has been contested in the past, as Prince had very specific rules when he was alive. But on this issues, the museum and estate are standing strong.
Ikea announced multiple renewable targets that they plan to reach by 2030, which includes removing single-use plastic over the next few years, offering more home solar solutions, and to reduce their greenhouse gases by 80 percent compared to their levels in 2016.
Millions of soccer fans around the world will travel to Russia this summer to watch The World Cup. FIFA is planning to minimize the event’s carbon footprint by asking fans to join an online campaign to reduce CO2. Fans who sign the pledge are eligible to win two tickets to the final game.
China is slowing down local growth in the solar industry, which may not sound like progress, but the entire world benefits. Lower costs from Chinese manufacturers exporting their products will create higher rates of installation around the world.