Panama becomes first Central-American country to ban plastic bags

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Panama has become the first nation in Central America to ban single-use plastic bags, joining more than 60 countries around the world that have completely or partially banned single-use plastic bags.

The implementation of the ban is an effort to combat plastic pollution on Panama’s beaches and protect the marine wildlife that often gets tangled in the plastic or ingest it.

Under the ban, retail stores, pharmacies and supermarkets must stop using plastic bags immediately, while wholesale stores have until 2020 to adhere to the policy. Fines collected due to non-compliance will go towards funding recycling and teaching programmes around the country.