In May, the Chilean Congress passed a bill that banned businesses from using plastic bags across the entire territory.
This Friday, the measure was posted in the Government Gazette, which meant it officially became a Law of the Republic.
Thus, as of today, retailers will have a six-month period to get rid of them. Small businesses, on the other hand, should do so in two years.
Councils were put in charge of supervising its compliance and those who break the Law face fines of up to 400 dollars per bag delivered.
Chile joins the war on plastic as the first in America to forbid bags at this scale. President Sebastián Piñera stated that its implementation was good for the country and the world.
“(They) Are polluting our country, our beaches, our fields, our streets. Besides, they are negatively affecting fish and birds”, he said in Central Santiago this morning, next to the secretary of the Environment, Marcela Cubillos; and the head of the regional government, Karla Rubilar.
In a historic move, president Michelle Bachelet sent a similar bill in September 2017, aiming to forbid plastic bags in over a 100 coastal cities. Back at La Moneda, Piñera decided to extend that project to the rest of the country.
The environment was an important issue for Bachelet during her second administration. Her conviction against a mining project to be located near a national reservoir led to a crisis in her cabinet and the resignation of the secretaries of Finance and Economy.