Chile Leads Way on National Bag Ban

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The South American country is to set to become the first nation in the world to invoke a complete ban on plastic bags.

A bill that was focused solely on the Patagonia region is now set to encompass the whole of the country if a third reading in the Chamber of Deputies is accepted.

Local media in Santiago said the bill – advocating a complete ban on plastic bags – was endorsed at its second stage in the Senate.

If passed, the law will become effective one year on from an official announcement.

However, supermarkets will be forced in the meantime to limit consumers to two plastic bags per purchase.

Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera announced the idea last year.

The citing United Nations and independent studies suggest 8 million tons of plastic waste worldwide end up in the oceans each year.

The plastic bag debate was given wider coverage earlier in May by National Geographic’s front cover.

The artwork, by Mexican artist Jorge Gamboa, features what appears on first glance to be an iceberg floating in the ocean. However, below the waterline, the ice blends into an image of a submerged plastic bag.

The cover is now being used for a campaign called ‘Planet or Plastic?’ which aims to highlight the problems caused by our dependence on single-use plastic such as carrier bags, plastic water bottles, and other items.