Recently, Panama's first soft plastic recycling plant was completed in Panama's Pacific Special Economic Zone. This is currently the largest soft plastic recycling processing and manufacturing plant in Central America. It is estimated that the factory can recycle about 36 tons of soft plastic waste every month, and make it into plastic imitation wood for production of furniture and other products. It is understood that the products made of recycled plastic will be donated to various public welfare projects in Panama to improve the quality of life of poor people.
The project is run by a Panamanian foundation called "The Bottle of Love". "Panama is a country with serious plastic pollution in Latin America. Recycling of plastics will help Panama maintain a balance between consumption and environmental protection," said Marjuli Judry, president of the foundation.
Zhu Deli said that the vast majority of plastic wastes generated by people's daily production and living are directly discarded on the coast, in rivers, or transported to landfills. The development of circular economy will have a positive impact on Panama's environmental, economic, cultural and educational construction.
"The establishment of the plastic recycling plant provides a solution to the problem of plastic pollution in Panama." Zhu Deli estimated that the plant could create hundreds of jobs for local residents, and provide plastic wood like materials for more than 6 million families and more than 7000 parks in Panama in the next 12 years. In addition, the completion of recycling and processing plants will also help Panama reduce emissions. Zhu Deli stressed that to achieve the goal of reducing plastic waste requires the joint efforts of individuals, enterprises and the government.
In recent years, Panama has made positive progress in recycling plastics. In 2018, Panama became the first country in Central America to ban the use of plastic bags through legislation.
According to relevant laws and regulations, supermarkets and various commercial institutions in Panama stopped providing free plastic bags and replaced them with less polluting alternatives. At the same time, the fines collected for violations will be used to support the plastic recycling plan to curb the marine environmental pollution caused by plastic.
Last year, the Panamanian government implemented a new preferential tax policy for environmental protection in terms of plastic recycling, stipulating that enterprises engaged in plastic recycling and using biodegradable materials to replace plastics can enjoy tax incentives. Relevant taxpayers can enjoy preferential measures such as exemption from income tax or income tax, as well as exemption from dividend tax, import tax on required equipment and machinery.
"In Panama, only 3% of plastic waste generated every day is recycled, which is lower than the global average of 9% published by the United Nations, and this recycled plastic is mainly concentrated in the capital Panama City." Santi Wattenberg, a Panamanian environmentalist, said: "Actively carrying out plastic recycling can not only protect the environment, but also make more people aware of the lasting harm of plastic waste to the environment and residents' health, and improve people's environmental awareness."
Wattenberg said that as more and more Panamanians and social organizations realize the importance of plastic recycling, the recycling economy will become increasingly popular in Panama, but it still takes a long time to build a complete plastic recycling industry chain and produce recycling products with high added value.
Contact Person: Mr. Fan