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With the vote of 39 deputies, the N° 20,985 file that regulates the use of single-use plastics became a Law of the Republic of Costa Rica.

This initiative was undervalued by some sectors as a step forward in the defense of the environment and other sectors, including the Executive Branch, rated it as insufficient.

Single-use plastic waste

Thus, the new regulations contemplate:

Prohibition of straws all over the country.

• End of purchases of single-use plastics throughout the public sector.

• Avoid delivering bags to final consumers, unless they are biodegradable or have 50% recycled material.

Satisfactions and riticisms

The original bill was presented by the Social Christian deputy Erwen Masís and received strong criticism from the sectors that warned about the high costs and technical complexities of the initiative.

Thus, the Committee on Environmental Affairs introduced changes until reaching the version approved this afternoon. “More than a restraint initiative, it is an opportunity for productive reconversion”, said Deputy Masís.

The Union of Chambers said for its part that “as a socially responsible sector, we are aware of the problem of waste management and believe that these are steps in the right direction to reduce plastic pollution”.

On the contrary, the annoyance characterized the message of the official legislator Paola Vega, who criticized that the only substantial change was the ban on the straws. The minister of the presidency said, last Tuesday, that the project is insufficient and that the Executive wants stronger regulations.

Meanwhile, the deputy José María Villata mentioned that one of the aspects that concern him is the use of plastic bags but that he is already working on an initiative that he hopes will ‘enrich’ the plan that became law in force.

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