sábado, 5 de agosto de 2017

Colombian daily reports fall in plastic sales after bag fee

La Nación, a newspaper from south-western Colombia, reported on 5 August a decline of around 25 per cent in sales of plastic bags in Colombia in the first six months of 2017, after the government decreed earlier people must pay for most types given out in shops. It qualified the move intended to curb pollution, as a problem for the sector, though it observed businesses were already looking at alternatives like providing paper bags. Colombians, it reported, must now pay 20 Colombian pesos (a negligible amount in euros) for a typical supermarket bag, a fee set to rise to 50 pesos by 2020. The government has banned the distribution of the thinnest bags. La Nación cited the head of Agroplásticos, which represents plastic and rubber interests, as saying that bag sales were in July 2017, 25 per cent below those of that month in 2016. But it also cited a manager of Induplast, a regional firm, Miriam Mosquera, as saying that the government seemed to have ignored the impact of restrictions on livelihoods, and "if the state really wants to contribute to the environment, it must promote other types of campaigns." The broadcaster Caracol similarly reported in late July a 27 per cent fall in use of plastic bags, apparently since March 2017. La Nación provided some figures on plastic consumption in Colombia, apparently taken from DANE, the state statistics office. Around 14 million plastic bags were sold in Colombia annually, and the fee was expected to reduce demand overall this year by 30 per cent, it stated.