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Canaries will impose fines in strategy against single-use plastics 

The Canary Islands are aiming to be a pioneer in Spain by launching a strategy against single-use plastics.

The regulation is already in its draft stage and is currently out to public consultation with suggestions being invited for any improvements.

Nieves Lady Barreto, Minister of Territorial Policy, Sustainability and Security, presented the main details, together with the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo; the president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Carlos Alonso; the Deputy Minister of Environment and Security, Blanca Pérez; the general director of Protection of the Nature, Susa Armas and the coordinator for the Study of the Climatic Change, Aridane González.

This standard seeks to advance the European directive that wants to eliminate single-use plastics – those that we use an average of 12 minutes a day – in the year 2021.

“The need to eradicate these plastics from our day to day life has become clear,” said the Minister.

With this action, the Canary Islands will become the first community to create sanc-tioning regulations, fines that will be substantial if the violation is serious. The measures will include a surveillance system.

The document assesses, in addition to the total elimi-nation of single-use plastic, the investment in research to promote improvements in the material and the integration of economic and fiscal advan-tages for companies and industries that begin to adapt and waste collection plans.

This strategy also closely monitors the contamination by microplastics in the oceans, therefore, it will finance research projects that study the behaviour of this type of waste at sea.

Carlos Alonso stressed, during the presentation, that the contamination by these elements supposes a “social problem” and public aware-ness had to be raised “from schools to administrations.”

“Without all the social agents, this strategy would not be possible,” remarked Aridane González, who urged everyone involved to take advantage of “the moment to turn the Canary Islands into a true reference.”