Law No. 21.368 that regulates the use of Single-use plastics is published in the Official Gazette
On 13 August 2021, Law No. 21.368 (hereinafter the “Law”) was published in the Official Gazette, which regulates and prohibits the delivery of single-use plastics and plastic bottles and modifies certain regulations.
The Law seeks to limit the delivery of single-use plastic and plastic bottles in food markets, promoting the reuse and certification of them.
For purposes of the Law, single-use plastics are “glasses, cups, mugs, bowls, cutlery (fork, spoon and knife), chopsticks, bowls, mixers, light bulbs, plates, drinking glasses, boxes or containers for ready meals, trays, sachets, placemats and lids that are not from bottles, as long as they are not reusable” (Article No. 2 (l)).
The Law also regulates plastic bottles, distinguishing between disposable plastic bottles and returnable bottles (Article No. 2 (c) and (d)).
Limitations on the delivery of single-use plastics
The Law establishes the following limitations on the delivery of single-use plastics:
- For on-premises consumptions, the delivery, in any form, of single-use plastics is prohibited.
- For off-premises consumptions, only the delivery of disposable products made of recoverable materials other than plastic, or certified plastic, is allowed. Light bulbs, stirrers, cutlery and chopsticks of single-use plastics, are always prohibited.
The limitations are applicable to food markets, such as restaurants, casinos, social clubs, kitchens, soda fountains, cafeterias, tea rooms, bakeries, bars or other similar premises that sell prepared food.
Surveillance and penalties
Municipalities will be tasked with oversight compliance with the Law. Failure to comply with the Law may be sanctioned with fines between 1 and 20 UTM, taking into consideration the kind of infraction.
This Law will enter into force gradually, and provides a period of 6 months from its publication in the Official Gazette to come into force the prohibition of delivery for off-premises consumption of light bulbs, stirrers, cutlery and chopsticks, and the obligations for producers regarding single-use products composed of expanded polystyrene. Other obligations will come into force within 3 years.
Finally, the Law provides a period of 18 months for the issuance of a regulations, that will establish the requirements to obtain the certification of plastic products, the proportion of plastic collected and recycled within the country that disposable plastic bottles must contain and the percentage of returnable bottles that must be available in supermarket display cases, among other.