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Ley No.2232 de 2022 in a nutshell.

On July 8, 2022 the new law was published in the Official Gazette of Colombia, which aims to reduce pollution caused by traditional single-use plastics, through the prohibition of the introduction, marketing, and distribution in the national territory of 14 categories of products, establishing the transition or elimination of these items within a period of 2 to 8 years; time in which the plastic industry must reinvent itself.

The following is a summary of the relevant information of the document. However, for further expansion of the points mentioned here, we suggest a detailed reading of the Law.

The categories of single-use plastic products that will be banned (article 5) are: 

  1. Checkpoint bags used for packaging, loading or transporting packages and goods, except those reusable or for industrial use.
  2. Bags used to pack newspapers, magazines, advertising and invoices, as well as those used in laundries to pack washed clothes.
  3. Rolls of empty bags in commercial surfaces for packing, loading or transporting packages and goods or carrying food in bulk, except for raw animal products.
  4. Containers or packaging, containers and bags for holding non-prepackaged liquids, for immediate consumption, take-away or home delivery.
  5. Plates, trays, knives, forks, spoons, glasses and gloves for eating.
  6. Drink mixers and straws.
  7. Plastic holders for inflation pumps.
  8. Confetti, tablecloths and streamers.
  9. Containers or packaging and containers to contain or carry food not prepackaged in accordance with current regulations, for immediate consumption, used to take away or for home delivery.
  10. Films for serving, packaging, wrapping or separating food for immediate consumption, used for take away or home delivery.
  11. Plastic cotton swab holders or flexible swabs with cotton tips.
  12. Dental floss handles or single-use dental floss holders.
  13. Packaging, containers or any container used for marketing to the final consumer of fresh fruits, vegetables and tubers that in their natural state have peels, fresh aromatic herbs, fresh vegetables and fresh mushrooms. Such packaging, containers or containers may be used to ensure food safety, prevent food loss or waste and/or protect the integrity of the food against damage, provided that the materials used are fully recyclable and/or recycled, as permitted by health regulations and, in addition, have goals of reincorporation in a circular economy model.
  14. Stickers, labels or any other distinctive feature attached to the vegetables.

Likewise, oxo-degradable plastics are prohibited and no product may be manufactured with this material for a period of 8 years. Consequently, among the main exceptions are the use of traditional plastic for medical applications for reasons of asepsis and hygiene; containing chemical products that present a risk to human health or to the environment in their handling; manufacture of single-use plastic products whose substitutes, in all cases, have a greater environmental and human impact according to the results of Life Cycle Analysis and products that are manufactured 100% with post-consumer domestic raw material.

In addition, the entry of single-use plastics, including plastic bags and plastic bottles to contain liquids, will be allowed only to communities and park rangers living in the areas of the National System of Protected Areas.

On the other hand, a national policy will be developed and implemented, which will include an action plan with annual goals for the reduction of single-use plastics, both those contemplated in this Law and those that are not, as well as fixed actions, a monitoring, follow-up and evaluation plan, in addition to projects that include consumer awareness and incentives for industries, within a period of 12 months from the entry into force of the Law.

In the same vein, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Ministry of Labor, shall formulate a Labor Adaptation Plan and productive reconversion for the substitution of single-use plastic products for sustainable alternatives, which will allow workers and companies to adapt to the established conditions. This plan must be submitted within 18 months.

Likewise, emphasis is placed on the transition towards a circular economy, proposing the substitution of plastic for sustainable alternatives, such as biodegradable materials (plastics and non-plastics) or materials that are made from recycled raw materials and go through an effective recycling process, that have a value chain that allows their use or have individualized goals within the framework of the Extended Producer Responsibility (REP) and Circular Economy (action 100 and 110), for which the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development will regulate within a period of 12 and 6 months, respectively.

In addition to these measures, actions should be articulated to promote the container return system and beverage dispenser strategies for reusable bottles. These actions will be articulated with the labeling process of the products, with the objective of informing the consumer of the proper management at the end of its useful life, the negative environmental impact that can generate its improper disposal, the plastic content in each product and the conditions of recyclability.

However, single-use plastics that are not referred to in the categories of the ban must be incorporated into the cycle closure processes under the circular economy and Extended Producer Responsibility models, being the case of PET bottles and HDPE containers. The above, with progressive goals of incorporation until reaching 90% in 2030 for PET bottles of treated drinking water, 60% in 2040 for PET bottles containing beverages other than water and 30% in 2030 for HDPE containers.

At this point it is necessary to mention that this recycled raw material must be domestic post-consumer or post-industrial derived from own production processes and, under no circumstances, the import of waste to meet these percentages will be allowed. However, the export of post-consumer products made from PET for the manufacture of resin that will later be imported will be allowed (within a period of 5 years).

As for the public sector, it must carry out dissemination and awareness campaigns on the responsible consumption of plastics, in addition to promoting the formalization of the actors in the plastic value chain, including professional recyclers and their associations, in order to articulate them to the Source Separation and Selective Collection Programs that each local government must implement, also enjoying the participation of private entities dedicated to the recovery of plastic waste. Likewise, municipalities and districts with more than 20,000 inhabitants must include in their respective Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (PGRIS) strategies to promote separation at the source in accordance with the national color code established by the National Government.

In conclusion, the penalties for non-compliance with the rule are agreed upon, where fines from 100 to 50,000 SMLV, confiscation of products, and temporary (less than 1 month) or definitive closure of the establishment are considered.

If you have any questions or require more information, you can contact the Masterbatch Plant located in Sabaneta, Antioquia by phone: +57 (604) 444 80 97 or by e-mail:

Author: MB Plant Research Team | August 4, 2022.