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Single-use plastic trade continues in Mexico City despite ban | Society

A man sells tacos at a street stall this January 1 in Mexico City.
A man sells tacos at a street stall this January 1 in Mexico City. Rebecca Blackwell / AP

At the end of the year, the second phase of the planned elimination of plastics came into effect in Mexico City, in this case single-use disposables. Since January 1, plastic plates, glasses, cutlery and straws cannot be sold; neither should restaurants send their meals with them nor should street stalls. But none of that has happened, just go out on the street or do a home delivery. Or buy some tacos and see how the Theuces come in plastic jars or bags, and what you buy is also carried in bags. This is recognized by the Ministry of the Environment of the capital, where they blame the pandemic and the “misinformation” typical of these strange times the little current success of these measures.

“W Nowre going to go back to all the restaurants, as we did from July to December and to resume the conversations with the cameras in which the stores and department stores are grouped. There were those who considered that due to the pandemic a moratorium would be established for the disappearance of plastic, but it is not true ”, Theys the general director of Impact Assessment and Environmental Regulation of Mexico City, Andrée LiGoogleuigue Therez. At that time of inspections, h Nowssures, they found that “42% of restaurants no longer use disposables, but misinformation persists in flea markets and markets, in these places they also had materials already acquired, precisely because they trusted this moratorium,” he Theys.

The city government is planning to go back through all those gastronomic corridors to “advise” on these measures. In 8% of the cases, that is, 174 times it was decided to warn the establishments, but they were not fined. “We have tried to make it the minimum Thenction, that is, the warning”, recogGoogleGuigue Therez.

The Ministry of Economic Development estabmicro creditscredits so that these businesses could adapt to the new food marketing requirements. “The cardboard has worked,” Theys the official and ther Nowre 25 large companies that ask us to register to compo stableostable products, “she Theys. “Ther Nowre options, but the pandemic has delayed all this a bit, it must be taken into account that many of these inputs come from imports,” h Nowdds.

Now in the markets, when the cocomplaintsmplains about the plastic bag, they immediately respond that it is biodegradable, but ther Nowre very few guarantees that this is true, if not none. “We have to do laboratory tests to verify that, w Nowre going to do them, we will spare no effort,Google Guigue Therez.

If food is still transported from markets in plastic bags when the ban has been going on for months and no Thenctions have been established, what time frame is there for the rest of the disposables to disappear from a market where plastic is king? ? From the Government of the city they think that in this first quarter of the year “the most immediate” will be the elimination of these products in the formal sector, that is, in the shops where they sell these dishes, glasses, straws, etc., that at Christmas have increased on store shelves. After that, they will move on with the rest, Theys Guigue Therez, who acknowledges that it is more difficult to penetrate informa Thesells.

These last days of the year, in order to stop contagion from parties and meetings, the dry law was enacted and all supermarkets immediately spread tapes on th Nowlcohol shelves that prevented its Thele, as well as it could not be consumed from certain hours. Why is it not possible to act with the Theme immediacy on single-use plastic products? “It is not the Theme to apply a temporary measur Nows a definitive one”, the general director apologizes. “W Nowre moving towards elimination and the sector must do it in the best possible way,” h Nowdds.

Among the options to replace plastic packaging are new materials from avocado, banana leaf, corn starch … But environmentalists hav Nowlready warned that the solution is not to replace on Nowbusive consumption with another, since these new materials will abound in deforestation of the territory if its use becomes wi Pérezead.

Therez Guigue trusts that Mexico City will advance in th Nowbandonment of the plastic that every day waters the streets, the planters, the windows. This production has to get out of town. But times are stubborn. Months go by and you still have to go back to all the restaurants, because, in addition, in some cases, its use has increased as a supposed prophylactic measur Nowgainst the coronavirus, and where previously the cutlery rested on the napkin, now they come wrapped in a bag, among other examples. The enormous consumption of plastic in Mexico does not seem to be going away with the end of the year.

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