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Chile Becomes First Country In Americas To Ban Plastic Bags ( 201

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Eyewitness News: 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.

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. 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.

Chile Becomes First Country In Americas To Ban Plastic Bags

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  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @09:20AM (#56776578)
    The ocean pollution problem apparently comes from ten rivers located in Asia. North and South America are not killing whales. This is just another pointless feel-good move to show that "they care" in Chile.
    • The ocean pollution problem apparently comes from ten rivers located in Asia. North and South America are not killing whales. This is just another pointless feel-good move to show that "they care" in Chile.

      That's pretty much my assessment - macro sized plastic from third world countries, and microsphere plastic from developed places. [] []

      Cites provided because the prominent search results blame countries that already recycle a lot of plastic. Making someone in those countries feel guilty about themselves, while doing nothing about the Pacific Rim countries will accomplish exactly nothing.

      This is not to say plastic in the oceans is not a pr

      • by skids ( 119237 )

        They are starting to realize a lot of the freshwater microplastic is from large businesses putting compostables in plastics bags which get ground up and spread on fields.

        We recycle all our plastic bags here... it isn't hard. However given that their are always going to be assholes throwing them out the car window, I suppose it is better to phase them out. Which means I need some sort of mnemonic for remembering to put the reusables back in the car. And better reusables than the crap ones the grocery stor

  • Why I Lost (Score:5, Funny)

    by Topwiz ( 1470979 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @09:31AM (#56776638)

    Does this mean that Hillary Clinton won't be allowed in the country?

  • by evil_aaronm ( 671521 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @09:46AM (#56776706)
    The problem, here, isn't the bags: It's the people who can't bother to dispose of them properly. Can we ban the lazy, inconsiderate people, instead?
    • if you mean recycling they were just being shipped to China and dumped in landfills there. If you mean "thrown in with the rest of the trash" isn't the issue that they're filling up landfills?
  • This law ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @10:02AM (#56776792)

    ... has been sponsored by the specialty plastic bag manufacturing industry. Who were not seeing sufficient sales of their product due to the second use of grocery bags for trash can liners, pet poop and homeless peoples' storage needs.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Where similar measures have been tried in other countries it has been found to be effective at reducing the total amount of plastic being used for bags of one kind of another. It seems that people use more of something if it is free*.

      * Obviously the cost is rolled into their shopping bill, but that's psychologically very different to being charged a few cents at the checkout.

    • Good. Those speciality plastic bag manufacturers produce bags that are less likely to break down into microplastics, and are more likely to offer products that biodegrade. They are just as bad as that evil solar panel industry or that nasty electric car industry.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Soft drinks are a much worse waste of plastic. Every day at lunch i have a bottle. The weight of a bottle far exceeds that of a plastic bag (a hundred times?). A bag is an environmental problem as they travel and get places but really bottles are much worse problem surely? Soft drink companies really need to think about this as they have to be the worst offenders by a huge margin. Capitalism sure!y has to take some blame as if someone made it expensive to create these then a solution would be found? Future

    • Make rope [] out of them?
    • what about them? It is well known that plastic bag use can easily be cut massively because a number of countries have done so. It's not a big win but it's an easy one. Do you reckon we should ignore it while fighting a bigger problem and not reap the benefit of merely good while chasing perfection?

  • Stores in and near Portland, Oregon stopped supplying plastic bags. The reason appeared to be that International Paper [] (world map) has a plant near Portland.

    Paper is far more damaging to the environment. First, a huge truck must go to a place where there are trees. The trees are cut and trucked to a processing plant. The plant uses poisonous chemicals [] to make the paper.

    The problem appears to be that there is not sufficient identification and recycling of waste. Plastic should not be allowed in streams
    • by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @11:30AM (#56777272)

      Do your realize that your downsides also apply to plastic? Poisonous chemicals and decomposition in landfills are problems for plastic bags too.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      And petroleum extraction, refinery and conversion into plastic doesn't use trucks, heavy machinery, or toxic chemicals?

      Evaluating the environmental impacts of two alternative products is not so simple. In theory an plastic bag could be more sustainable than paper, because the molecules in it can be recycled indefinitely. So at one extreme you have a hypothetical world where everyone was scrupulous about recycling every last scrap of plastic; in such a world plastic would have less impact. At the other ex

    • "CMPC [] is a Chilean pulp and paper company, being one of the biggest in Latin America. ... Revenue: US$ 5.1 billion (2017)"

      Another plant: CELCO Valdivia Pulp Mill pollution []: "The company had been dumping more dioxins and heavy metals than had been approved by the regulating agencies into the river from a waste tube that had been approved by the authorities. It had also been producing far above levels approved in its Environmental Impact Assessment, and was cited for multiple violations of environmental an
  • Pointless (Score:2, Offtopic)

    95% of the plastic in the oceans comes from Africa and Asia.
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @12:26PM (#56777710)

    The comments so far that I have read anout how this is bad are basically reduced to "This is an inconvinience for me." and then tryt to find another reason. So here is how it works in places where they are already doing this.

    Instead of using a bag one time, you take a cotton bag that you can use many times over years. You take it with you when you go shopping. Sure, you will forget it a few times, but most people are not snowflakes and will start to remember, just like you remember to take your phone with you.

    Where I live most people can not use the bag for trash anyway. You need to buy special bags for special garbage. So there is no gain there.

    The single use items need to stop. I just bought 4 microSD cards and the amount of garbadge I got with it is immense. I get a SD sleeve (or whatever it is called) that I do not need. They are placed in a plastic that I do not need inside an even bigger plastic that is put inside a carton. That was the put inside a box that was filled with filling paper. 4 microSD cards Could have bneen send in an envelope, yet they decided to use the size of a small shoebox. I guess 99.9% waste.

    I also use 1 use-based items, because I am as lazy as the rest (and perhaps even more so as I do this at work), yet I changed my behaviour in using plastic bags and I did not try to sweasel my way out of it and find excuses. I adapted my behaviour and after a month it was ok.

    So now when I go shopping, I take two small nags that are both the size of a wallet with me. I always have at least one with me at all times in case I suddenly need it. Something [] like [] this [] and yes, they exist in other materials as well, but you need to search foir yourself as I am lazy and my shift is almost over.

    • Same here. The area I live in banned plastic bags and charges you 10-25 cents for a paper bag. Initially I was bitchy about it as well, but after a couple weeks you are totally used to it and the refuse that is floating around the streets is demonstrably, much greatly reduced. It's so much better, I wouldn't go back even if they let us. In a recent trip back to my childhood home I was astounded at the amount of plastic bag litter that existed. Add in the stuff that blows out to sea, the difficulty recyc
  • Poop in the street (Score:4, Informative)

    by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:37PM (#56779028) Homepage Journal

    I guess they don't get the unintended consequences of things like that. When they did that in California, they eliminated the only refuge for the homeless to dispose of their waste in a sanitary manner.

    It's why there's so much human feces all over the streets and sidewalks in San Francisco and San Diego these days. And where the hepatitis outbreaks came from.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll