Who regulates plastics in the US?

How the new single-use plastics law will work

In an attempt to stem the plastic flood, several countries have begun regulating and even banning single-use plastics. And one more has just joined the group. As of July 20, 2019, Panama will ban the use of single-use plastic bags for transporting products and goods.

In August 2010, in Mexico, the section banning the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags came into force under the Solid Waste Law. Since then, several states have begun to regulate single-use plastics, such as Querétaro and Mexico City, where the ban will come into force in 2021.

Since April 2016, a regulation on plastic bags has been in force in Colombia. Those measuring 30×30 centimeters ceased to circulate in the country and a tax began to be levied as a measure to protect ecosystems.

In March 2019, the European Parliament banned ten single-use plastic items, such as straws, cotton swabs and cutlery. MEPs also agreed on a target to collect and recycle 90% of beverage bottles by 2029.

The U.S. promotes environmentalism and is the world’s largest producer of

This bill, authored by Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Alan Lowenthal, will be introduced this Thursday, March 25, proposing to establish requirements and prohibitions related to manufacturing, waste collection and recycling systems for a variety of products and materials.

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This bill seeks to address the plastic pollution crisis from a prohibitionist perspective. Thus, if passed, starting January 1, 2022, the bill will phase out a variety of single-use products, such as different plastic utensils.

PLASTICS Chief Economist Perc Pineda, PhD. said, “The Plastic Pollution Freedom Act poses a grave danger to the U.S. economy, particularly the manufacturing sector. It seriously jeopardizes capital expenditures of more than $7.0 billion in the manufacturing of plastics materials and resins. Importantly, for every dollar spent on manufacturing, another $2.74 is added to the U.S. economy.


A report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences reveals that the United States, with 42 million tons of waste, is the world’s largest plastic polluter, a problem that requires the Biden administration to act as soon as possible.

This is revealed in a new report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was commissioned by the U.S. Congress last term and details the worsening trend of this type of waste in the United States. To tackle the problem, the document urges both the legislative body and the administration led by President Joe Biden to create a national strategy by the end of 2022 for the country to reduce its contribution to global plastic waste and establish an expanded, nationally coordinated monitoring system to track plastic pollution, as well as set priorities for reduction and management.

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The report explains that while the U.S. solid waste management system is generally advanced, it has a major volume problem and is clearly incapable of managing the enormous amount of waste the country generates. Therefore, its authors believe that “there is a need and opportunity to expand and evolve municipal solid waste management to ensure that plastic waste is better managed” through federal policies that are consistent, comprehensive and cross-cutting. Specifically, the report notes that this strategy should be developed by a group of experts or an external advisory body by December 31, 2022, for implementation to be effective in the first half of this decade.


In parallel, the manufacture of single-use plastics has often been considered “core business” in several U.S. states – the rules vary from state to state – mainly because of its role in the manufacture of hospital supplies and food containers and packaging.

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However, says Minister Carolina Schmidt, there are products in which, for safety and hygiene reasons, the use of disposable materials such as some types of plastics must be maintained. And in the current scenario of sanitary crisis, the government is opening up to make modifications to the bill that will regulate single-use plastics recently passed by the Senate Environment Committee, approved unanimously after a transversal agreement among all sectors.

“When as an industry we strongly insist on not prohibiting but regulating, it has to do precisely with this type of thing, because in a scenario where all these articles are prohibited and a health crisis occurs and it is said ‘let’s allow them now’ -which seems to me to be completely logical and sensible-, where are we going to get them from. There probably won’t be anyone to produce them.”