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Chile: milestone for recycling sector

October 2 marked an important milestone for Chile with implementation of the accounting system for container and packaging collection goals in compliance with the country’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) law. The first management system has already started the bidding processes that will ultimately allow producers to meet their obligations. Packaging is the segment with the greatest potential for impact and valorization, as well as being the closest to the population. The great challenge ahead is how to seduce citizens into changing consumption habits and ensuring they take a leading role in the collection and recovery of containers and packaging.

The National Association of the Recycling Industries (ANIR) has been a constant support in the development of the EPR law, and has recently initiated a collaboration agreement to improve and standardize the traceability of all recovered products, through which producers will achieve the goals. During December, meanwhile, ANIR will release its sixth edition of national recycling statistics - a work highly valued and much-anticipated by the entire environmental branch.

Chile has faced a challenging economic scenario in 2023, with projections that GDP will record a variation from last year of only between -0.5% and 0%. The economy remains stagnant; one of the most affected sectors has been construction which has been in crisis since 2020, leading to bankruptcies and restructuring for thousands of companies in Chile. Another factor adding pressure to the economy is the sustained depreciation of the Chilean peso against the US dollar. For August to December, the central bank has announced sales of US$ 2000 million per month to contain the rise of the currency.

There is at least one ray of hope for Chile’s economy, with inflation dropping and expected to close the year at 4.3% before heading down to 3% during the second half of 2024. This has allowed the interest rate to be lowered considerably to its current 9.5%, with expectations of it being below 8% at the end of the year. Although this is still high, it is anticipated that a recovery process for the economy will begin in 2024.

On the political front, we are in the final stretch of the second constitutional process and, by December 17, Chileans will define whether this second proposal will be the guide for the country’s next 30 or 40 years.