Chile Becomes the First Country In the Americas To Ban Plastic Bags

Chile Becomes the First Country In the Americas To Ban Plastic Bags

Photo Courtesy of Santiago Times

Each year, five hundred to one trillion plastic bags are used. Only one in every two hundred plastic bags are recycled. Chile addressed this concern by banning plastic bags, according to Mother Nature Network.

“Chile, a South American nation that consumes and disposes of an estimated 3.4 million plastic bags per year, has passed legislation giving large retailers and supermarkets six months to ban plastic bags from stores,” according to Mother Nature Network.

Banning plastic bags wasn’t the only environmental issue Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, wants to take care of. Bachelet also approved 1.6 million square kilometers of marine conservation area by 2018, according to  One Green Planet.

“We are convinced that our coast imposes an obligation to be leaders in cleaning up our oceans,” stated Marcela Cubillos, the environment minister, in an article published by NY Times.

According to ECO Watch, eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans, choking and killing marine life, threatening the larger food chain, and harming ocean ecosystems.

Many alternatives to plastic bags have been presented to the world, such as using reusable bags. This is a cheaper alternative for the customer as well as an Eco Friendly alternative for our oceans, stated Huffington Post.

California also addressed the issue of plastic pollution and, and charged ten cents per plastic bag in grocery stores, according to CalRecycle.