Since last Wednesday, January 1, 2020, the production and commercialization of plastic bags was prohibited in Mexico City.
The restriction focuses not only on the bags, but on all disposable plastic items (for single use), such as cutlery, glasses, coffee capsules and the like. The measure prohibits “the commercialization, distribution and delivery of disposable plastic bags,” according to the Ministry of Environment of the Mexican capital.
According to the Sedema report, in CDMX, 13,000 tons of garbage are generated per day, of which only 1,900 are recycled. The goal is for the waste to be 2,000 tons per day by 2024 and by 2030 CDMX to be a Zero Waste City.
Since August 2010, Mexico (the country) began with the restrictions for non-biodegradable plastics, to which the states gradually joined. However, it is worth mentioning that the prohibition that entered into force at the beginning of 2020 also includes the so-called "biodegradable plastic bags", since they are not actually biodegradable, they only disintegrate, creating plastic microparticles that take the same or longer time to disappear from the environment, and are impossible to recycle. Only compostable plastics, that is, manufactured with plant starch, or cloth bags that can be used repeatedly will be allowed.
The CDMX Solid Waste Law established fines of between $2,200 and $9,000 for those who fail to comply with the standard.
Some plastics will still be allowed, such as those used to pack cold meats, fresh meats and some medicines, for hygiene reasons.
At the beginning, when the UN Assembly for the Environment proposed the gradual ban on single-use plastics, countries such as the United States, Cuba and Saudi Arabia refused. However, under international pressure and the obvious deterioration of the environment, because even at the bottom of the Mariana Trench there is garbage, little by little many countries have joined the effort.
In Colombia and Puerto Rico, the rule has been in effect since 2016. Chile began in 2017. Ecuador and Argentina joined in 2018, as did the Galapagos Islands. From May 2019, Peru regulates disposable containers and in Uruguay only biodegradable or compostable bags can be manufactured or imported. In November 2019, Costa Rica started with its own plastics control project.
In the United States, as of January 1, the city of Oregon entered the rule, asking people to take their own bags to stores or buy paper bags. Since March 2019, the European Parliament has banned the use of straws, swabs, dishes and cutlery for single use throughout the Euro zone. Bangladesh (the first city to ban plastics in 2002), France (2016) and Kenya (2017) have also had laws in this regard for some years now.
And from April 2020, the United Kingdom will ban straws, mixers and swabs as part of its plan to reduce plastic waste. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia will begin its own program from the month of June. And so, more countries and entities will make their own plans public to enter the planet's demostification in pursuit of a cleaner world.