They prepare for change. In an establishment dedicated to selling disposable Styrofoam, located in Independencia, Colonia Centro, they already have little merchandise on their shelves. Photo: Elizabeth Velázquez
In the first minute of 2021, a new catalog of banned single-use plastics came into force in Mexico City, in accordance with the reform that was made to the Solid Waste Law and which was published in the official Gazette on June 25, 2019.
In accordance with this standard, as of today they can no longer be marketed, distributed and delivered, in addition to plastic bags, forks, knives, spoons, mixing sticks, plates, straws, cotton swabs, balloons, trays to transport food and lids .
The ban includes Styrofoam products, tampon applicators, made entirely or partially of plastic, coffee capsules, products containing added microplastics such as make-up and toothpaste.
However, PET bottles will not yet be banned, as is already done in states like Oaxaca and Quintana Roo, lamented Ornela Garelli, specialist in Responsible Consumption and Climate Change at Greenpeace Mexico.
Here in Mexico City PET bottles are not going to be prohibited, but in states like Oaxaca and Quintana Roo PET bottles are prohibited, for soft drinks and bottled waters; the industry sought protection, fortunately a judge denied this and the prohibition is advancing, for example, in Quintana Roo, in protected natural areas and islands ”, he commented.
The activist recalled that the fines for businesses that violate these restrictions in the capital are more than 43 thousand pesos, which, unfortunately, in recent months has not been met to the letter with single plastic bags. use, due to the emergency due to covid-19, a situation that the industry took advantage of to try to reverse the legislation.
Given that, I would call on citizens, as consumers, if we are going to make our purchases, for example, at a restaurant or even at these informal businesses, to bring our own reusable options, “he said.
For his part, Esteban García-Peña, director of Fisheries and Plastics Restoration campaigns at Oceana Mexico, pointed out that the problem lies in the application of the law, because the Government of Mexico City does not have sufficient infrastructure to supervise and monitor compliance with these new provisions.
The issue is how we are going to ensure that this prohibition really occurs, and the following is that ‘subjectivisimo’ issue of those materials that are compostable or biodegradable, because most of the products that have this label do not say in how long, they do not say if it requires an industrial process for its degradation.
I can tell you is that much of what is compostable needs an industrial process and reagents ”, he explained.
García-Peña recalled that it is necessary to legislate on single-use plastics at the national level, taking up the 40 initiatives that exist in the Congress of the Union, putting the interest of citizenship ahead and not that of the industry, such as the reform that promotes the Senate of the Republic, which is committed to a supposed recycling and not to the reduction in consumption and extended responsibility to achieve a true circular economy.
They want to turn the law on waste management at the national level into a law that bets on recycling, but not on reduction, not on penalties, not on addressing the consequences of plastic pollution, so we say no, it is not a law adequate, “he said.
The head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, reported last week that there will be an adaptation period in which the public will be informed about the restrictions and options to replace plastics, before beginning to impose fines.
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