The regulation of single use plastic in Panama

July 1 2022 Panama entered into the second phase of implementing a law regulating single-use plastic in the country. The law aims to reduce and progressively replace single-use plastic in Panama

" From today the general use and marketing of plastic egg packaging, disposable plastic stirrers, and disposable plastic plates will be prohibited," explained the Ministry of the Environment in a press conference earlier this month. 

The ministry also made a commitment to offering sustainable alternatives such as those made from biodegradable materials of biological and renewable origin such as wood, sugar cane bagasse, abaca fiber, jute fiber, bamboo wood, corn, cassava, and corn starch.

Other alternatives are compostable, recyclable material (paper, cardboard, stainless steel), or reusable.

The Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) explained for their part they would be implementing supervisory actions throughout the country. For those who do not comply with the new measures, fines could be issued ranging from B/.250.00 to B/.2,000.00.

The amount of the penalty will depend on the size of the businesses, for example: 

Up to 3 workers - Fine of B/.250.00

From 3 to 10 workers - Fine of B/.500.00

More than 10 workers or chains - Fine of B/.1,000.00

Distributors - Fine of B/.2,000.00

Law No. 187 establishes the progressive elimination of 11 single-use plastic items in Panama. 

The first phase of the law was implemented in July 2021, with the prohibition of the use and commercialization of plastic swabs, plastic covers for laundry, plastic rods to hold balloons, plastic toothpicks, plastic cocktail sticks, plastic candy sticks, and plastic rings for cans.

The third and final stage of this project on the elimination of single-use plastics comes into force on December 31, 2023, with the elimination of the use and commercialization of plastic straws. 

How to file an environmental complaint in Panama 

- Download the ACODECO mobile application, from any phone with an ANDROID and iOS system.

- Call the consumer service agent system through line 130 or the Citizen Service Center 311.

- Visit their regional office in La Chorrera, Public Registry Building, El Harino neighborhood, El Libertador avenue.  Business hours: Monday Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.