Costa Rica will forbid the entry of single-use plastics to its national parks starting February 25, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) said.
According to SINAC, prohibited items include: stirrers, straws, disposable cutlery, disposable cups, fast-food containers, plastic tableware, non-reusable plastic bags, disposable plastic bottles and wrappers that are not part of the final product.
The measure applies to visitors, researchers, park officials, and “in general to all users who enter the Protected Wildlife Areas.”
“From SINAC, we take a step forward to contribute to the reduction of the use of disposable plastics within the National Parks and Biological Reserves as a conservation strategy, but also as a way of sensitizing and educating the visitor and surrounding communities,” said Rafael Gutiérrez, Executive Director of SINAC, in a statement.
The initiative is part of the Comprehensive Waste Management Plan, which encourages the Costa Rican entities to substitute single-use plastics for renewable alternatives.
The Health Ministry estimates Costa Rica generated 4,000 metric tons of waste each day during 2014, of which 11.5% corresponded to plastics.
“It is necessary to change our consumption habits for more sustainable solutions and take another step toward that goal of decarbonization,” Gutiérrez said.