The Senate of Colombia approved this Wednesday the bill that eliminate single-use plastics in the countryafter the House of Representatives already did, which prohibits the manufacture, marketing and use of this type of material, which must be replaced by more sustainable ones.
The same Senate confirmed the unanimous approval of the bill “by which measures tending to the gradual reduction of the production and consumption of certain basic single-use products are established”.
The key date for single-use plastics to disappear in Colombia will be 2025, when the adaptation process provided for by law will start, in which single-use plastics will have to be replaced little by little.
Another provision included in the law is that airlines will not be able to enter single-use plastics in the Amazon and in the Orinoquía, nor in natural national parks, moors, wetlands and marine ecosystems.
This bill was already approved in September 2021 in the House of Representatives, with 117 votes in favor, and now the law will have to go to conciliation in the Senate and must be sanctioned by the president.
“This law is a historic advance in favor of Colombia’s water sources, in favor of the sea and against plastic pollution,” Senator Juan Carlos Losada, of the Libertal Party, author of the bill, celebrated on his social networks. The approval was also celebrated by Senator Angélica Lozano, another of the promoters of the law, who indicated that it is a “vital step for the environment and public health”.
WHAT PLASTICS ARE BANNED
The text contains a total of 35 articles and prohibits the use of 14 plastics, some of them among the most used in the daily life of the population, but among the most polluting.
Plastic bags in stores, bags to pack newspapers or bills, cotton flakes, straws, containers and containers for transporting food, as well as plastic plates and cutlery will gradually disappear from Colombia.
Excepted from these restrictions are single-use plastics used for medical purposes, the packaging of chemical products that present a risk and the conservation of food, liquids and beverages of animal origin.
If the provision is not complied with, the bill contemplates fines, seizures and temporary closures, while the money from these sanctions will be used for environmental cleanup and recovery programs.
After the approval of this bill, the Government will have to draw up a Plan for Labor Adaptation and productive reconversion in workers and companies involved in the plastics industry.
Each Colombian consumes the equivalent of 24 kilos of plastic annually and 93 percent of single-use plastics are not recycled, according to data from the Attorney General’s Office mentioned this Wednesday in the Senate debate.