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Brazil: State of Rio de Janeiro Bans Plastic Bags

(July 5, 2018) On June 25, 2018, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro promulgated Law No. 8,006 (Lei No. 8.006, de 25 de Junho de 2018, State of Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly website) banning the use, distribution, and even sale of plastic bags all over the state. (Gilberto Porcidonio, Pezão Sanciona Lei que Proíbe Sacolas Plásticas em Supermercados do Rio, O GLOBO (June 25, 2018).)

Law No. 8,006 amends Law No. 5,502 of July 15, 2009 (Lei No. 5.502, de 15 de Julho de 2009, State of Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly website), which provides for the replacement and collection of plastic bags in commercial companies located in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

According to amended article 2 of Law No. 5,502, commercial companies, entrepreneurs, and owners of commercial establishments located in the State of Rio de Janeiro are prohibited from distributing (for free or through sales) disposable plastic bags or bags composed of polyethylene, polypropylene, and/or similar materials, and must replace them within eighteen months from the date of publication of Law No. 8,006 with reusable/returnable bags, as specified in article 2(§ 1) of Law No. 5,502. This Law determines that the reusable/returnable plastic or other bags mentioned above must have a resistance of at least 4, 7, or 10 kilos (8.8, 15.4, and 22 pounds, respectively) and be made with more than 51% percent materials from renewable sources. Bags for recyclable waste should be the color green, and bags for refuse should be gray to assist consumers in separating waste and facilitating identification during garbage collection. Article 2(§ 2) of Law No. 5,502 also determines that the abovementioned reusable/returnable bags may be sold for no more than their cost price.

The Law does not apply to the original packaging of goods, but is applicable to plastic and other bags provided by a company or enterprise for weighing and packaging perishable or nonperishable products. (Law No. 5,502, art 2-A(§ 2.)