(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) Starting Saturday, July 20 Panama will become the first country in Central America to enforce a law prohibiting the use of plastic bags in supermarkets, pharmacies, and retail outlets.
Reusable bags made of materials other than polyethylene must be sold at cost or the store will face fines from the Consumer Protection Authority (Acodeco) .
Panama is the first country in the region to ban polyethylene plastic bags in commercial establishments, a measure that will help reduce the volume of garbage that affects the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, according to the United Nations Program for the Environment.
Some 87 countries have introduced regulations on polyethylene products, and another 12 have announced imminent actions to control or eliminate their use.
Acodeco spokesman, Jerónimo Ramírez, said that 174 officials will be verifying the fulfillment of the new law governing retail outlets which in January will be extended warehouses and wholesalers.
The proceeds of the fines imposed for non-compliance with the law will be allocated to recycling and teaching programs on environmental topics