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Chile: concrete moves towards EPR law

September 5 saw the most important vote in recent decades - and the largest in Chile’s history - on whether to approve or reject a new constitutional text. Chile said “no” to the proposal. The path towards a new constitution continues but, following the latest electoral results, political efforts point towards the generation of greater electoral agreements without the shrillness of the failed previous process.

In addition to negotiation of the new mechanism that will generate a constitutional text, President Gabriel Boric is facing: an escalation of the conflict with the indigenous peoples in the so-called southern macrozone; historically high levels of immigration; and an economy damaged by the remnants of the COVID pandemic.

In terms of international relations, Chile is on the brink of ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP11). Although there is no clear desire from the executive power to accelerate the processing of the treaty, TPP11 will be voted on shortly in the Senate where it has a clear majority. After due process in Congress, TPP11 will be ratified and Chile will be closer to the rest of the world, expanding its markets and encouraging foreign investment.

Economically, Chile has been hugely affected by strong inflation which has already exceeded 14% over a 12-month period for one of the highest rates in the region, aside from Argentina and Venezuela. Meanwhile, the peso has devalued sharply despite recent fiscal interventions. The government is realizing that its original expectations cannot be pursued with the same fervour.

All this, together with the crushing defeat in the September plebiscite, has put pressure on the executive to reach agreements on tax and pension reforms and on laws that reduce working days. The structural change agenda has been replaced by one that is forced to seek sustainable changes over time without generating instability.

In terms of recycling legislation, progress continues to be made regarding the framework of the extended producer responsibility law. This year, three Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) have already been approved; these have been created in order to group producers and to manage compliance with the goals imposed by reason of their extended responsibility. Meanwhile, large investments in the first waste sorting plants highlight the existence of opportunities for the development of our sector. These will certainly make a great contribution towards increasing recycling rates.

As usual, winter cools the collection of recyclable materials. In the second and third quarters of 2022, however, the companies in our association announced quite satisfactory figures, with expectations of a close-of-year similar to that in 2021.