On August 3, 2018, Law 21,100 was published in the Official Gazette, establishing a prohibition to deliver commercial plastic bags throughout the national territory, with the purpose of protecting the environment. The content of the law is basically the establishment of a prohibition on the delivery of “plastic commercial bags” which is enforceable to “commercial establishments”.
- Object: Plastic shopping bags
For purposes of Law 21,100, bags subject to the prohibition must comply with the following requirements:
- It must be a flexible package consisting of a tubular body closed at one of its ends.
- Its fundamental component must be a polymer that is produced from oil. The law does not specify what is understood by a fundamental component for these purposes, so it must be analyzed case by case.
- It must be delivered by a commercial establishment for the transport of goods. In the case of purchases made by electronic means, it will only apply to the bag that is delivered for the transport of goods to the final consumer.
- Addressees: commercial establishments
The subjects obliged to comply with this prohibition are commercial establishments, understood as any retail or wholesale channel for the distribution or commercialization of goods or services. It is a broad definition, which encompasses all those establishments that sell, distribute or market products or services.
- Inspection and sanctions
The supervision of compliance with the law is in charge of the Municipalities. The delivery of commercial plastic bags in violation of the law will be sanctioned with fines up to 5 UTM, imposed by the corresponding Local Police Court. For purposes of determining the specific amount of the fine to be imposed, the following criteria is established: (i) number of plastic commercial bags delivered, (ii) previous conduct of the offender, and (iii) financial capacity of the offender.