4.11 Country Case Studies


The rights of plastics trump the rights of Mother Earth

Struggling with plastic piling up and without the infrastructure to manage it, the local government in La Paz, Bolivia, attempted a bold legislative push against single-use plastic under the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth. It sought to ban all plastic bags, PET bottles and single-use plastic at the local level to try and stem the flow of problem plastics into the environment.

The industry backlash was loud and clear, and resulted in the delay, weakening and eventual rejection of the ban. Meanwhile, consumer goods companies in the country continue to push their eco-credentials with tokenistic projects that do not tackle the problem at source. Bolivia, with one of the strongest legislative measures for protecting the natural environment, is failing to uphold the rights of its people to live free of plastic pollution.

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