The municipality of Punta Arenas has passed an ordinance which stipulates to replace the use of plastic bags in commerce. Punta Arenas aims through this way, to reduce pollution in the area. Only renewable or reusable bags will be allowed, which will enter into force within a year as it’s estimated that it will take time to diffuse the idea and educate the inhabitants.
Those who don’t comply will be subject to a penalty of 1,5 – 5 monthly tax units (unidades tributarias mensuales), which is approximately 60,000 – 200,000 CLP.
The idea was initially only supported by environmentalists but has steadily also been receiving support from other parts of society. This measure intends to protect the whole of Chilean Patagonia from accumulation of these contaminants as according to official data from the Ministry of the Environment, each month 250 million plastic bags are used and of which 90% end up in one landfill site.