With the immediate ban of plastic bags Panama makes a big step forward in the protection of the environment. This makes Panama the first country in Central America to ban plastic bags.
In Panama there is currently no functioning recycling system in place, which unfortunately means that household waste ends up in large landfills. Here you can see waste children commissioned by companies who try to select “valuable” garbage and then hand it over to creative companies for pocket money. The recyclables are then cleaned, sorted and shipped to industrialized countries in order to be sold there for a lucrative fee. In the middle of last year I was in Panama City talking to the recycling and environmental representatives. These have set themselves the goal of introducing a sustainable recycling and waste management system and, in doing so, also relying on the support of internationally experienced waste companies.
A first major step by the Panamanian government was taken on 20 July 2019 by banning the distribution of plastic bags with immediate effect. Supermarkets and retailers must comply with the ban from now on. Smaller suppliers still have time until 2020.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but at least we are beginning to make progress on the important issue of environmental protection. Perhaps we will succeed in convincing international “environmental companies” of the possibilities in Panama as a “Hub of the Americas” and in helping them.
Klaus Happ advises and supports companies that want to become commercially active in Panama (Business Consulting for Panama).
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