Alternatives for the taxation of non-returnable containers

August 20, 2021

The Uruguayan government is seeking to strengthen the recycling of non-returnable plastic containers, as currently only 20% of the total produced is processed while the remaining 80% represents approximately USD 4,000,000 in waste.

1. Policy Statements

According to Gerardo Amarilla, undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment said the government is seeking alternatives to avoid the implementation of the tax on non-returnable plastic packaging. This is due to, in his opinion, the environment and the economy must be considered uniformly, being both indispensables for optimal and ecological development.

2. New targets

According to Amarilla, the tax in question was included in the packaging law approved in 2019 and had a start date for December of this year. However, he stressed that the law has had a flaw in the cost/benefit calculation since even per year in Uruguay, some 15,000 tons of PET-type plastic containers are put on the market, being 20% recycled.

In this regard, it is stated that at least 80% of the material to be recycled is wasted or buried, which could mean some USD 4,000,000 Uruguayans waste only in this type of material.

Source: El País 19/08/21