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Government takes first steps to eliminate single-use plastics; Plastic industry vows to fight

Minister of the Environment Marcelo Mata said Wednesday that he plans to move quickly to eliminate single-use plastics in Ecuador. “We have established a three-month deadline to reach agreements with the plastic industry, businesses and consumers with the intent of removing most single-use plastics from use in our country.”

Non-reuseable plastic bottles are a target of the new policy.

Mata acknowledged that the government’s plan will require a “major cultural change” in the habits of consumers but said the move is necessary for protecting the environment. He said his office is already developing regulatory procedures to enforce the new rules.

Although there is legislation pending in the National Assembly to put greater restrictions on the use of plastics, Mata’s announcement appears prompted by Ecuador’s recent admission into the Pacific Alliance trade group. The alliance, which is currently composed of Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Peru, has adopted a policy that member nations must eliminate most non-reusable plastics by 2021.

In statement on his Twitter account, President Lenin Moreno said he supports the alliance’s plastics program. “The Alliance of the Pacific has stated the objective for the elimination of single-use plastics and Ecuador fully supports it and will work to meet it.”

In a press release, Ecuador’s Chamber of Industries expressed shock at the government’s announcement. “We were completely unaware of this change and are concerned that it was determined without understanding the economic consequences. Tens of thousands of Ecuadorians are employed in plastic manufacturing industries and thousands of businesses depend on the products they produce.”

The press release questioned the length of time it will take for bottling companies to convert to returnable glass containers. “This will require major industrial changes not to mention large amounts of capital to install new facilities and systems.”

The environmental ministry said it is compiling a list of plastic products affected by the government’s decision but did not say when it will be released. A ministry spokeswoman said that plastic drink bottles, bags, food containers, utensils and foam containers will be on the list.

30 thoughts on “Government takes first steps to eliminate single-use plastics; Plastic industry vows to fight

  1. I say it is about time that the world gets off oil based plastics which are killing our oceans and wildlife!!!

  2. (giggle) Talk about closing the barn door after the horses are gone!!! There are methods of removing carbon from the atmosphere and cleaning the oceans of plastic. But so little is said/done about it. Are we content to leave things as they are? And if I may point out something to the naysayers, does it matter that the flooding of your seaside home was caused by sunspots or something man made? Drowned is drowned.

    1. not much we can do about sunspots but there is a lot we can do about man made damage … so yes, it matters if it was avoidable.

      1. Bob. My comment was to convey that there are solutions and we have our heads in the sand by ignoring them. In the case of plastic pollution, we are past the time for mere preventative measures, which only slow the increase of a disaster that became deadly years ago.
        The situation with climate change is the same. The situation is dire NOW. There ARE tested ways to aggressively and rapidly reverse the Co2 levels but we don’t hear much about it. (strange). There is even one nation, a major contributor to the problem for generations, that keeps right on polluting at higher levels.
        You see, whether disasters are “natural” or not is irrelevant. Whether they can be addressed, resolved or even mitigated is the only element of importance.
        Sadly, in a society driven insanely by greed, that is not going to happen. They will watch as their leaders establish and perpetrate child abuse on an industrial scale as long as their stock market goes up and they pay less taxes.

        1. Who is the nation you are referring to as the one increasing “Co2” pollution? It isn’t your favorite whipping boy, the U.S.
          Also, please explain how WW2 planes abandoned in Iceland are now buried under hundreds of feet of ice? That dad gum global warming has caused more ice. Hmmm
          The U.S. has reduced it’s emissions more than any other nation!
          The nations promoting child abuse are the ones chasing their citizens to leave for a better life in America! Even life in President Obama’s cages is better than life at home. And they just keep coming because it is soo bad in America. Get your facts straight, GT.

          1. How is your stock portfolio doing Ray? 🙁
            As for emissions, what else did Fox tell you? Fox does not deal in facts..they will tell you whatever you and your type want to hear, exactly like sex workers. Here are the facts. I found in a second. Why on earth do you allow Fox to make you look foolish in public?

            Aside from the FACT that the US is no longer reducing its emissions, that country, with its old huge economy, bears the blame of causing more damage to the planet than any other. No other nation comes close.

            As for pointing to people trying to escape death or worse, I recently read a story how a man trapped by his arm, removed it without any assistance or anesthetic. Using your rationale, we would have to say that arm removal is a wonderful thing. The US was the only place these people had to go, just like your ancestors..though far more Scots went to Canada. Now YOU are treating them unspeakably.

            1. How do you know the U.S. is not reducing it’s emissions? What else did your referenced sex workers tell you? I don’t get Fox News, so please let me know what they are teaching you. China & India are the ones to concern yourself about pollution. Plenty of other nations to go to like Canada that loves immigrants. We still love Scots. Try again “Giggles”.

  3. This is another wet dream. The plastic industry is too big and has the money to pay off the crooked politicians to keep on producing more plastic. What should be done is never going to be done. Just a lot of big talk to pacify people.

    1. That is my fear as well Ken. One of the world’s major polluters is motivated only by money.

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