jueves, 14 de abril de 2016

Colombians being urged to cut back on plastic bags

Colombian authorities were reported on 12 April as considering moves to discourage, though apparently not eliminate, the use of free plastic bags at stores and supermarkets. Plastic bags are one of a range of synthetic items piling up on land and sea and harming nature and animals by various means. The government was to ban smaller plastic bags that are easily ripped from 29 April, and define the quality and strength of the plastic bags shops should provide their customers. The new norms and a publicity campaign launched that day were intended to reduce the 288 bags every Colombian is thought to use annually, or more than 21,000 in a lifetime of 73 years, El Tiempo reported. The country's population was just over 50 million in 2015. Colombia's Environment Minister Gabriel Vallejo López said the norms would first apply to bigger stores, which should provide unspecified bagging alternatives. "It is not about eliminating use of bags, but making rational use of" them, he said. The move seemed timid compared to those of other countries that have banned bags, but was still reported on some websites to have caused cabinet divisions. Vallejo indicated on 12 April at the launch of the Reembólsale al planeta campaign ("Rebag the world"), that Colombia would not presently emulate moves seen in some European countries to charge for plastic bags.