miércoles, 4 de enero de 2017

Buenos Aires bans shops from handing out plastic bags

A ban on shops handing out disposable plastic bags went into effect in Buenos Aires on 1 January, after the lawcourts ruled it was legal and rejected a challenge by the sector. EFE news agency termed the move the culmination of a process that began in 2009, intended to curb, then eliminate massive plastic bag use. The city had already ruled that shops should charge for plastic bags, and the newspaper Clarín cited the retailers' association ASU on 2 January as observing that this had duly reduced demand by "70 per cent." Yet EFE cited the city's chief environmental officer Eduardo Macchiavelli as saying in an interview that the city still typically consumed 500 million bags a year, which could "circle the world seven times." Shops failing to comply with the new norm would be fined 100,000 pesos (almost 6,000 euros), and the city was helping people by gifting reusable cloth bags around the capital during January, the website Infobae reported. In spite of advance warning of the ban, on 2 January many shoppers reportedly had to buy bags as they arrived at supermarkets without them. At stores like Carrefour and Walmart, large, reusable bags were sold for 15 pesos (around 0.9 euros), while Día supermarkets were selling plastic bags for 1.5 pesos, as a product. This was strictly legal, a spokeswoman told Clarín, as the bags sold were thicker than the single-use bags the city had banned, and reusable.