Press Room

PN: Banning the use of plastic

May, 2019

In order to fight pollution of the oceans, Panama adopted the UN recommendations by passing, last year, Act 1 of 2018, becoming the first country in the region to approve measures against the use of plastic bags.

This law granted a year and a half for the necessary adjustments, thus as of July 20th, 2019, the use of polyethylene in supermarkets, self-service, drugstores, and retailers is prohibited. Shops may offer for sale -at cost- or free reusable bags.

Prohibition excludes the following cases:

  • When plastic have direct contact with food or wet supplies (eg. fruits, vegetables, meats, ice cream, among others);
  • Garbage bags as they are not used to carry merchandise;
  • Laundry bags;
  • Bags for disposing of food containers (eg. use in restaurants); and,
  • Packing material.

Those businesses breaching the ban might be sanctioned with monetary fines ranging from 100 to 500 dollars.


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