Argentina bans non-biodegradable plastic bags in Buenos Aires

30 October 2009 17:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Argentina has endorsed a growing trend in Latin America by banning the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in the province of Buenos Aires, a transformer said on Friday.

The new law was published in the country’s Official Bulletin for September, and will affect the most populated province in the nation, which houses about a third of the country’s 41m inhabitants.

The law allows 12 months for commercial establishments that predominantly sell food and beverages to replace regular plastic bags with containers made of degradable or biodegradable materials, while allowing 24 months for all other establishments.

Plastic bag makers will have 24 months to upgrade their technologies as necessary for compliance, according to the law.

The law will not apply when the polyethylene (PE) bags or any other conventional plastic product must be used for the packaging of moist alimentary products, where the use of degradable or bio-degradable containers is not feasible for aseptic reasons.

Government officials will require plastic bag makers to enlist in an official registry for producers, distributors and importers, in which they will be subject to an annual certification test on the biodegradability of the bags they produce.

That would serve as a mandatory prerequisite for permits to be granted.

One transformer said the initiative would increase costs by roughly 10%. Transformers in Mexico City, where a similar law was recently enacted, estimated their costs would increase by 3%.

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By: George Martin
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