Argentina’s Buenos Aires province has decided that single-use nonrecyclable sacks and bags used in stores, supermarkets and retail shopping outlets must be replaced by biodegradable ones.
The measure will mainly affect plastic bags, which must be replaced by more environmentally friendly packaging such as paper that has to be 100% FSC certifi ed,produced with other cellulosic fibers like sugar cane or contain a minimum of 80% recovered paper.
The resolution states that 100% biodegradable bags will be mandated for clothing items, footwear and leather stores, DVD clubs, parlors, toys and party supplies, stationery, newspapers and magazines, perfumes, kiosks, drinks,food and ice cream. The deadline for the switch is 45 days.
Other types of stores will have a longer period of adaptation, varying from 25-360 days. Supermarkets, for example, will have a 90-day period to completely switch packing methodology.
The initiative was approved on May 7 by the municipality’s Environmental Protection Agency and is supported by the local Pulp and Paper Producers (AFCP) and the Library Products Industry.
Early this year, Brazilian São Paulo city decided to ban plastic bags from supermarkets, which had around two months to switch their packaging to
biodegradable ones, including ecological clothes bags, kraft paper bags and those made from biodegradable plastic.
The initiative caused controversy as consumers now have to pay for environmentally friendly packaging or use their own to carry the products purchased.