The War Against Plastic

While businesses and organizations try to reduce consumption of products such as plastic straws, bags or food packaging, the plastic industry is warning about the economic, health and environmental risks of these measures.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Measures to discourage the consumption of plastic products such as straws and bags pose significant challenges to companies that implement them, such as increasing costs when replacing plastic products with other reusable or recyclable products.

On the other side of the fence, plastic products manufacturers are constantly monitoring new technologies and replacement materials, but consider that the costs incurred by companies that decide to replace plastic products with alternatives makes their viability difficult, at least for now.

See also: "The Plastics Market in Central America"

Regarding "... this trend for eliminating plastic" , Marco Luconi, president of the Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Association of the plastic industry (Aciplast) said in an interview with that "...Replacing plastic as packaging and consumption material means that the new material you are going to use is going to be the new environmental problem because the underlying problem, willingness, is not solved. "In the Chamber we promote recycling programs to mitigate the environmental impact of human consumption, which ultimately does not matter if it is plastic, glass, tin: there is an environmental impact, there is no such thing as zero impact.'."

On the disposal of single-use plastics, Luconi said: "...The fact that they are eliminated does not solve problems but rather creates new issues.  For example, with supermarket plastic bags, the experience of other countries is that their ban triggers a rise in the use of garbage bags because grocery bags are anything but disposable. Most people reuse them and if they were eliminated the environmental consequence would be greater."

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More on this topic

Tax Creation as Culture

August 2019

Businessmen regret the fact that in Costa Rica is constant the creation of new taxes, fees and canons as an easy and quick solution to problems affecting the country, such as the bill that seeks to tax the use of plastic.

Project No. 21159 "Law to solve the contamination of plastic waste", which was presented to the National Assembly by the deputy of the ruling party Paola Vega, contemplates the collection of a tax for the importation or nationalization of plastic inputs, for selling or consuming articles of this material.

Disposable Packaging: More Costs, New Challenges

July 2019

Changes in legislation restricting the use of disposable plastic containers and packaging force companies to look for other options, some of which could be up to five times more expensive.

On July 15, President Alvarado signed in Costa Rica the Law that decrees the prohibition of import, marketing and delivery of containers or containers of expanded polyethylene, better known as Styrofoam, in any commercial establishment.

Plastic: Innovate or Die

November 2018

Producing articles with avocado and corn seed resin, and products with additives that allow the decomposition of plastic in less time, are some of the strategies proposed by the sector to overcome the obstacles faced in the region.

As in the rest of the world, there have been several attempts in Central America to ban the use of some plastic products.

Costa Rica: "Green" Tax on Plastic Containers

August 2015

The food industry has opposed the proposal by Solis administration to levy a tax on non-returnable plastic containers, as a measure to discourage their use.

José Manuel Hernando, President of the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry, explained that "... "It is totally wrong to think that more expensive products are transported in this type of material, citizens who throw their trash in the street will stop doing so, or municipalities will do their job better in terms of cleaning and waste collection. The measure will simply mean a higher cost of living for Costa Ricans.This kind of problem must be addressed with other programs such as those already being run by much of the food and beverage industry in collecting and recycling garbage and plastic material. We do not agree with this disformation given to the population which makes them think that a tax of this nature will change a problem that is being solved with completely different measures.'"

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