No more single use plastic! All about law 21,368

The great day has finally arrived for our country! This month the white march for commerce ends and the ban on the delivery of single-use plastics begins. And how poetic that it is in the month of love! The application of law 21,368 will help to generate ecological awareness in our country and reduce our environmental impact by giving our great home a breather.

But what does this law consist of? Will it really generate a change in the environment? We invite you to learn with BEENAT everything you need to know about this new legislation and the benefits it will bring to our country and our planet.

And why do we care about laws against single-use plastic?

Let's start with the basics, do you know what single-use plastic is? Law 21,368 defines them as products made of this material that are not reusable. Sadly, these elements are common in our lives and include things as simple as glasses, pots, spoons, light bulbs, etc.

For years, commerce did not leave us an alternative to buy food, especially fast food, that did not have at least one plastic element. The solution we were given to this problem was recycling, but, according to what Greenpeace indicates, 90% of the plastics in Chile end up in a landfill.

Some background

Needless to mention is the environmental impact that this garbage has on our country and our planet. Some time ago we mentioned to you in our BEENAT blog various data regarding the pollution produced by this waste. And since then, more information continues to appear!

Without going very far, you surely remember the ice cream container of more than 40 years found intact in El Quisco last December 2021. The municipality of the town made the discovery known through its official Twitter account, which caused the shock and anger of consumers. This fact demonstrated two things: that plastic is an evil that will last for decades (if not centuries) and that people today are more ecologically conscious.

The single-use plastic disaster on the planet

Plásticos de un solo uso blog BEENAT

But this is only part of the environmental impact we create! Sadly, every day we come across distressing images such as plastic islands in the oceans, sea turtles suffocated by eating plastic bags, and even the iconic image of the seahorse wrapping its tail in a cotton ball.

Although this is a worldwide problem we cannot look to the side without doing anything! In Chile alone we consume an average of 51 kilos of plastic per person year. Of this amount we do not recycle more than 10% and our waste ends up in landfills, water sources and consequently the ocean We are all part of the problem and we can be part of the solution!

For this reason, various NGOs, citizens and members of Congress promoted the law against single-use plastics so that change comes from the root of the problem. By eliminating them we can considerably reduce the plastic that is already in circulation. In addition, through this legislation we can educate citizens and generate healthy habits to care for and heal our enormous house.

So, what will change with Law 21,368?

We have already mentioned that the objective of this new regulation is to protect the environment and reduce the generation of waste. For this, the delivery of single-use products in food-related commerce will be limited.In addition, when the law is fully in force (in August 2024) disposable bottles must have a certification that proves that they were made from reused plastic

Thus, the first measure became effective on February 13, 2022, 6 months after the law was enacted. From here, businesses will not be able to deliver single-use plastic items. Those who do so risk fines of between $55,000 and $275,000 for each item they catch delivering.

Regarding disposable plastic bottles, after August 2024 they may continue to circulate, however their sale will be conditional. All these bottles must have a special certification issued by the Ministry of the Environment that certifies that they were created with a percentage of reused material. In addition, the business that delivers them must manage the correct recycling of these, giving consumers a space so that they do not have to discard them.

We know this won't magically eliminate plastic, but it's a great start to a circular economy! In addition, the law obliges establishments such as supermarkets or stores to have beverage alternatives in returnable containers. Thus, as a consumer you will know that 100% of the packaging you use will be reused.

This is not the only ecological awareness law in Chile!

Plásticos de un solo uso bolsas plásticas prohibidas por la ley chilena blog BEENAT

In February 2019, plastic bags were prohibited in our country in supermarkets, warehouses and in retail. This regulation was the precedent of Law 21,368 and together they seek to take responsibility for the 33,000 tons of plastics that are generated annually in Chile.

On the other hand, on March 16, 2021, the REP law entered into force, which obliges manufacturing and importing companies to responsible for the waste generated by their products. Among the elements that must be considered are batteries, oils and/or lubricants, containers and packaging, newspapers and magazines, electrical devices, and tires.

Thus, legislation and the state begin to take charge of regulating the environmental impact generated by both companies and citizens. These changes mean a great advance for our society since they define the actions that each part of it must carry out to solve the terrible situation in which our planet finds itself.

Sounds good! But who checks that everyone does their part?

In the case of law 21,368 against single-use plastic waste, the control was referred to the municipalities. However, citizens also have the power to denounce each time they see that the regulations are not being complied with. In the Municipality of Las Condes, for example, phone number 1402 is already enabled to directly denounce these events within the commune Find out the channel available in your municipality!

Problems with the law against single-use plastics

Not everything is perfect and unfortunately we are already seeing some complications that could appear with this law. In an interview conducted by Future Challenge to different tenants, the following came to light:

  1. Lack of stock of products that will replace single-use plastics. This would be due to import problems resulting from the pandemic and the increase in demand generated by the implementation of the law .
  2. Higher prices. According to the tenants themselves, the value of the products allowed by law can be 3 times that of those made of disposable plastic.This increase would be reflected in the final sales price, directly affecting consumers
  3. Municipal resources to control. This law reveals a social situation of inequality of resources in the different communes of our country. Not all municipalities have the resources to hire the necessary personnel to carry out inspections. That is why citizen participation is essential!!

Ecological awareness begins at home!

BEENAT envoltorios reutilizables ecofriendly para cuidar el planeta

Although the law will be fully effective in 2 more years, we can start making changes today. Start by finding out which is your nearest green point or clean point and separate the waste that is accepted there from your garbage. Is there plastic that you did not receive? With them you can make eco-bricks and donate them to different projects!

You will also help the planet a lot if you take care of your food. By means of them you will save all the water that was used in its production! You can also say goodbye to single-use plastics like Alusa Plast with our BEENAT reusable packaging They are unique in Chile! With them you can preserve your food in a healthy and ecological way.

Take care of the planet in the month of love and every month of the year!