Thursday 17 June 2021

Chile becomes first country in America to ban plastic bags across its entire territory

In an unprecedented national measure, the Chilean senate passed a bill to prohibit the use of plastic bags for store purchases.

In a historic decision, Chile’s House of Representatives voted this Wednesday to ban the usage of plastic bags in all types of shops across the entire territory, making it the only country to prohibit them in the American continent.

The measure was well received in the Senate, so it was sent back to the Lower House, where it was passed this afternoon. It will enter into force in a year’s time in the case of retailers, but in two years in the case of small businesses. This bill excludes garbage bags.

- Advertisement -

Nevertheless, it was president Michelle Bachelet who announced a related bill in 2017, during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was praised both domestically and abroad.

“We are going to present a bill that will ban the usage of plastic bags in coastal cities within the next 12 months”, Bachelet said in New York City, in September.

Said project was also passed, but it was meant to affect around 100 sea-side cities. President Sebastián Piñera’s second administration transformed it into a national-scale objective.

The environment was a crucial topic for the former head of State. Disagreements on the matter led to a cabinet crisis that produced the resignation of her Ministers of Economy and Finance, as well as that of the undersecretary of the latter organism.

- Advertisement -

Today’s resolution was heavily cheered by many political actors, specifically from Chile Vamos, the current coalition in power.

Piñera himself took to Twitter to say that “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”.

The Minister of the Environment, Marcela Cubillos, also shared on Twitter her thoughts. “Leaving Congress. Thanks for supporting this first step to combat plastic pollution”, she wrote.

The website,, has been launched to educate Chileans about the new law.

According to data provided by the Association of Plastic Manufacturers (Asiplas in Spanish), it takes a minute to produce one plastic bag, which has, on average, a fifteen-to-thirty-minute lifespan. Nonetheless, each bag takes approximately 400 years to degrade.

- Advertisement -

Asiplas also said that Chile uses more than 3.4 billon plastic bags a year, which translates to almost 200 bags per person annually.

Some states and cities of the US and Canada have similar measures in place, but those initiatives have not become national policies yet. Costa Rica, on the other hand, intends to ban single-use plastics by 2021.

Source (in Spanish):

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

Costa Rica will have a system to reduce marine pollution

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica will have a system called "Interceptor" that...

11 Latin American and Caribbean countries lead Costa Rica in percentage of vaccinated

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica ranks 12th of Latin America and the...


Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 13, “EVENS”

Today, Sunday, June 13, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister absent from the summit of Central American presidents

QCOSTARICA - The Daniel Ortega government sent its ambassador to Costa Rica, Duilio Hernández, as its representative to the summit of Central American presidents...

Today’s Covid News: Restrictions allowed a decrease in Covid-19 and prevented hospital collapse

QCOSTARICA - A moderate decline in new cases for the third consecutive week allowed the hospital system to avoid the dreaded collapse and rapid...

Diseases, weather and low prices hit the orange sector in Costa Rica

HQ - The appearance of pests and diseases, in particular the 'dragón amarillo' (yellow dragon), the impact of the weather and a sharp drop...

Direct flight will connect Guanacaste with Austin starting in November

QCOSTARICA - American Airlines announced that starting November 2, 2021, it will offer a direct flight between Austin, Texas and the Daniel Oduber International...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 12, “ODDS”

Today, Saturday, June 12, only ODDS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

“Caso Cochinilla”: Name arose when comparing parasite with hidden corruption

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) moved to the raid, seize and arrest of their investigation into corruption of public...

Should the vaccination against covid-19 be opened?

QCOSTARICA - Six months after the start of vaccination against covid-19, will it be time to open the campaign to those who want to...

Europe opens the doors to tourism, these are the requirements

Q TRAVEL - Europe opened the doors to tourism. While worldwide vaccination against covid-19 advances above the levels of each country, the restrictions are...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.