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Colombia: single-use plastic bags issued by retailers 2015-2019

As of December 2019, Colombian retailers distributed 433 million single-use plastic carrier bags, nearly 70 million fewer bags given out a year earlier. When compared to 2015, this South American country reported a reduction of nearly 60 percent in the number of single-use plastic bags issued by retailers. This represents over 630 million fewer plastic carrier bags than in 2015.

Rational use of single-use plastic bags program

In 2016, Colombia joined the movement to reduce plastic waste. Through the Resolution No. 0668, the national Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development regulated the rational use of single-use plastic bags. The norm imposes obligations on single-use plastic bag distributors such as stores, chain supermarkets, pharmacies, and department stores. These distributors must formulate, implement, and keep up-to-date programs to promote the rational use of single-use plastic bags and submit an annual compliance report.

Global plastic waste

With approximately 359 million metric tons of plastic produced worldwide, the increase in plastic output has become a major environmental issue. Over five billion metric tons of plastic ends up as waste every year, often contaminating water supplies and causing environmental pollution. In 2019, it was estimated that almost two trillion pieces of plastic lies in the North Pacific Ocean.

Number of single-use plastic carrier bags distributed by commercial establishments in Colombia from 2015 to 2019

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Supplementary notes

No figures were given for 2016.
The data was collected from 39 commercial establishments participating in the program "rational use of plastic bags" that provided the complete information.
Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "E-commerce in Colombia"

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