(Photo: s2art.) The government of Buenos Aires province (a territory separate from Buenos Aires city but accounting for about 37% of the country population) has approved a law to ban shops and supermarkets to give polyethylene plastic bags in its territory.
In a two-year period, the bags will have to be replaced by recipients from biodegradable materials, such as paper or special plastics that decompose. When that period ends, shops that still give plastic bags could face bills and even closure of their venues.
Find out about repercussions to the measure and other initiatives that are taking place on national and provincial levels in the extended.Buenos Aires province law to ban polyethylene plastic bags
The text approved by the province says the government, "forbids the use of polyethylene and other conventional plastics bags given away by supermarkets, self-service-shops, grocery stores and shops in general for transportation of products and merchandise in all its territory."
In order to achieve this, it gives a two-year period for all shops to convert to paper or biodegradable-plastic bags.
The news was well received by society and environmental organizations, though questions arose as paper bags are more expensive (and take more energy to produce), and Argentineans use supermarket plastic bags to throw away their trash.
Plastic bags ban in Argentina and Latin America
Other regions of Argentina that have taken measures against plastic bags include El Bolson (a town Warren reviewed in his post El Bolson, an organic municipality) and El Calafate, both located in Patagonia, in which the measure is effective today. Also, the city of San Isidro, located in Buenos Aires province, which has approved a similar law to that of the province on a municipal level a few weeks ago, also with a two-year period for adaptation.
At the capital of the country, some criticism against bags has already shown: a few months ago we told you about an anti-plastic bag campaign in Buenos Aires.
On a national level, the Argentinean Congress is analyzing a similar law that was presented in 2007 and that proposes the ban of plastic bags in all supermarkets and shops from January 2013 on.
:: Via La Nacion newspaper
More on plastic bags at TreeHugger:
Green basics: Comparison between paper and plastic bags
Cities and countries that have banned plastic bags:
Encinitas, CA - Latest City to Ban Plastic Bags
China Launches Crackdown on Plastic Bags
UK Town Goes Plastic Bag Free