Costa Rica Set To Ban Single Use Plastics


Living in New Mexico is different then my old home town of Florida. Most store’s in New Mexico don’t have plastic bags. You have to bring them, or if they do… They charge you .10 a bag.
I thought it ridiculous at first, but being here about a year, I can see that it certainly seems to work. I see less bags “flying” on the side of the road, among other things. I think we should all take the lead of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica wants to become the world’s first country to achieve a comprehensive national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics by 2021.

The Central American nation intends to replace these wasteful, ocean-clogging items—such as plastic store bags, straws, coffee stirrers, containers and plastic cutlery—for biodegradable or water-soluble alternatives, or products made of renewable materials (think plant starches).

The initiative is led by Costa Rica’s Ministries of Health and Environment and Energy with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and from local governments, civil society and various private sector groups.

Costa Rican government officials announced the country’s ambitious plan on June 5, World Environment Day.
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While working in Germany some 20 years ago, you would go into a supermarket and your bagging options would be… bring your own or pay for a multiuse bag of either heavy plastic (recyclable) or a sew jute material bag. From that point on, I have been using my own bags… My wife and I have heavy jute and fabric bags of 2 different sizes that work well for our grocery shopping and another couple of smaller ones for general, picking up a couple of things, kind of bags…

This of course is a real issue and the problem that we have is that while, in my opinion, the president pulling out of the Paris agreement was right on time, he should be using the bully pulpit to help people make these decisions. If the public conscience actually were brought to focus on the tangible things that individuals can do, much of our environment problems would be solve quite naturally.

With respect to biodegradable products like straws… people should be willing to accept the added cost for such products… if they actually care about their environment… of course this should equate to cheaper fuel…

The other thing with respect to products is packaging… huge amount of waist. I know that breakage is a concern but as long as the item can make it to the cash register in good working order, it should become the responsibility of the purchaser to care for it from then on. This of course is a huge problem when competition creates return policies that are just ridiculous…


Litter (including plastics) is, in my opinion, probably the most serious environmental issue we are dealing with, and one that never seems to be very interesting to environmentalists who somehow manage to raise much more money by talking about global warming and not really doing anything else.