Peru’s public sector to phase out styrofoam, plastic bags and straws

By November 4, 2018

Peru’s public organizations are cleaning up their act, one plastic bag at a time. A new decree was passed by the federal government to make it so no state entity in the country continues to use styrofoam, plastic bags, straws, or other similar types of plastic that are not biodegradable.

Peru’s Ministry Board approved the Supreme decree this weekend and the whole scope of regulations will go into effect in a period of six months. Among other new regulations stemming from the decree, however, it will be prohibited in one month’s time from taking non-biodegradable plastics into a national park in Peru. That same rule applies for public museums and national heritage sites in the country.

Minister of the Environment Fabiola Muñoz said that the passage of this new decree represents a step forward for Peru.

“We are absolutely conscious of the importance of working to be a country where environmental issues are present in all of our decisions,” Muñoz said at a press conference succeeding the decision.

When the full decree goes into effect in 180 days, it will be against the law for any entity of the Executive Branch from acquiring the aforementioned non-biodegradable materials for their buildings or for officials’ personal uses. Plastic bags nor lamination materials will be used to send out printed information anymore, per the ruling.

According to the government, the only way plastic bags will be used going forward in public offices is when it is necessary in the case of preserving certain foods or to comply with sanitation laws in the public sector.

The move follows a stricter rule by neighboring Chile to ban plastic bags from being used by any business in the country. Other countries in the region like Argentina, Brazil and Colombia have carried out varying measures to tax the use of plastic bags and deter their use within their borders.