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  • Small commerce owners hand over reusable fabric bags in Cauquenes community, Maule Region, Chile. August 3, 2020.

    Small commerce owners hand over reusable fabric bags in Cauquenes community, Maule Region, Chile. August 3, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @MMAmaule

Published 4 August 2020
Opinion

The Environment Ministry is also promoting handcrafted fabric bags as a reusable and non-contaminant substitute. Chile is the first Latam nation in advancing on plastic eradication.

Chile Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt Monday announced the enforcement of a bill to prevent store owners from handing over plastic bags to their customers.

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"The call is for awareness. Let us use reusable bags and reusable masks. With small changes of habit, we have a gigantic impact," Schmidt said to local news outlets.

From August 3 of 2018 and as part of a two-year plan, retailers could only hand up to two plastic bags per client. In 2019, large commerce and supermarkets ceased providing customers with the accessory. 

The Environment Ministry is also promoting handcrafted fabric bags as a reusable and non-contaminant substitute. Chile is the first Latam nation in advancing on the plastic eradication.

"If we were to place the number of bags that we have avoided delivering next to each other, we would add up to 2.75 million kilometers. That's 7.1 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon, you could turn the Earth around 68 times," Schmidt added.

Store owners who breach the bill would receive a 330 fine per each plastic bag. The measure excludes plastic-wrapped products from fabrication, as well as plastic packages, bottles, and waste-container bags.

Eco Non-Governmental Organizations praised Chile's action and stressed this is a paramount step for ocean life protection. 

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