On March 16 of this year, a Decree was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Chile that sets collection and recovery goals for packaging. It is one of the “priority products” included in the Extended Producer Responsibility Law, known as the REP Law (Ley de Responsabilidad Extendida del Productor in Spanish). For the purposes of the Decree, packaging is considered as containers made of at least one of the following materials: Tetra Pak or liquid packaging board, metal, paper and cardboard, plastic or glass. The goal of the regulation is for both manufacturers and importers of packaged consumer goods, called “producers” in the law, to arrange and finance the management of this type of waste when it reaches the market in compliance with the set goals, which increase each year (see Infographic 2).

In line with this change at the national level and its ongoing efforts to develop a sustainable industry based on circular economy, the pork and poultry sector, through ChileCarne and the Pork Producers Trade Association, ASPROCER, organized the Zoom webinar “New regulations for packaging: challenges and opportunities for the poultry and pork production sector” on June 1. The speaker was Nathalia Silva, who has a long history working on issues related to the REP Law. During her presentation, Silva explained to the audience how this decree will enter into force in 2023 and the aspects each producer must consider in order to comply. Thus, the conference allowed poultry and pork producers, processing plants, and traders to clarify doubts and identify critical points in order to decide how to better address them.

According to Silva, “the priority is on products that represent a problem for the country because of how they are being handled or if there is a lack of waste management.” The expert detailed that the law prioritizes: oils and lubricants, electrical and electronic devices, batteries, tires, and finally containers and packaging. Each of these elements will be subject to a specific regulation that specifies the obligations and scope of the law. Two regulations, for tires and packaging, have already been completed. The publication in the Official Gazette sets in motion key timelines for producers, who have to resolve how to comply with the law.”

For more background information and details on the REP Law, please visit the Ministry of the Environment’s website https://economiacircular.mma.gob.cl/ley-rep/ (in Spanish).