Efforts against plastic garbage advance in Mexico

Some five billion plastic bags are used each year in the world and more than half, 70 percent, end up in the environment, a problem that Mexico has taken action on.

In Mexico, various entities are aware of the problems posed by this type of single-use items for ecosystems and living beings. image: Pixabay
In Mexico, various entities are aware of the problems posed by this type of single-use items for ecosystems and living beings. image: Pixabay

In the framework of the International Free Day of Plastic Bags, the Spanish Foundation Aquae reported that currently there are more than 150 million tons of plastic in the oceans and every second 200 kilograms of this material are thrown into the sea.

Some 80 percent of the garbage in the sea corresponds to plastic and, if the figures continue like this, it is estimated that by 2050 there could be 12 billion tons in the oceans.

Faced with this scenario, the foundation called for reuse of the bags, since the action of using and throwing them away is not sustainable, and at the same time called for the use of other alternatives, such as those made with cloth.

In Mexico, several entities are aware of the problems posed by this type of single-use articles for ecosystems and living beings.

In the case of the country's capital, last May the local Congress approved reforms to the Solid Waste Law that prohibit the marketing, distribution, and delivery of products with single-use plastics, which will begin to apply for bags in December 2020.

Also from January 1, 2021, will be prohibited the marketing, distribution, and delivery of forks, knives, spoons, mixing sticks, plates, straws, cotton swabs, balloons and rods for balloons, cups, and lids, among others.

Meanwhile, in Guerrero, the local Congress recently approved a reform to the Law on the Use and Integral Management of Waste that prohibits the use and sale of disposable plastic bags, straws and unicel cups and plates in the state.

The aim is for merchants to stop selling and, if necessary, withdraw straws and bags, and to replace them with materials such as cardboard, agave, avocado stone, bamboo, and other biodegradable materials.

Jalisco also joined the fight to gradually reduce the use of plastic and unicel, with legislation that came into effect on January 1, 2019, under which it is intended to adopt the use of reusable bags, eradicate the use of straws, unicel containers, plastic bottles, among others.

Last month, an initiative was launched in Yucatan to gradually eliminate single-use plastic bags, which was made possible by the approval in Congress of the proposal to modify the General Law for the Integral Management of Waste in the State and its Regulations.

Through the proposal, in a period of two years, the use of plastic bags and unicel products will be gradually eliminated, which will be replaced by environmentally friendly materials.

The entities of Baja California, Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, and Nuevo Leon have joined this initiative and have modified their legislation to prohibit or regulate the use of plastics.

The International Free Day of Plastic Bags is commemorated on July 3 with the intention of raising global awareness of the damage caused by single-use plastic bags to the environment, as they take more than 500 years to decompose.

This date is promoted by various civil society organizations in different parts of the world, which strongly push the initiative that proposes to advance in the massive reduction of this article that can be replaced by other eco-friendly materials.

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