Costa Rica regulates use of plastic in public institutions

June 6, 2018

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado ordered Tuesday that Costa Rica restrict the use of plastic in public institutions to reduce pollution.

Alvarado and the Minister of Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, signed a directive that instructs the Ministers of Education and Justice, as well as the Social Security System (Caja), to stop the purchase, use and consumption of single-use plastics.

“We’re giving unmistakable signals about our orientation on environmental topics,” Alvarado told journalists when signing the directive.

Plastic is one of the biggest pollutants in Costa Rica, were volunteers and environmentalists have removed tons of plastic material from the country’s rivers.

According to the decree, cafeterias and dining rooms of public schools, hospitals and prisons must avoid single-use plastics.

Single-use plastics include disposable coffee stirrers, plates, cups, cutlery, bags and bottles.

Other public institutions such as the National Oil Refinery and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) have adopted restrictions for the use of the plastic.

By commemorating the World Environment Day, the president also ordered the expansion of Rincón de la Vieja National Park, which surrounds the volcano of the same name, in the northeastern part of Costa Rica.

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