Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Gulf Today Report
Mexico City’s ban on single-use plastic has affected businesses as they struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic.
According to data, the city with about nine million inhabitants churns out 13,000 tons of solid waste daily.
The new rule bans the use of disposable plastic items like cutlery, plates, straws and others, this is in addition to a year-old ban on plastic bags.
For Celina Aguilar, a restaurant owner that currently generates income through takeout or home delivery due to the pandemic, the rule is a huge challenge.
"We still haven't recovered from the losses (of the first closure). Now everyone must change to biodegradable packaging or they fine you," Aguilar complained.
Martin Matias, a food vendor described the situation as “a daily battle” because everyone relies on takeout now.
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On the other hand, environmentalists welcome the new rule with great delight.
Environmental group Greenpeace Mexico said businesses have been given ample time to prepare for the change.
"It's been under discussion for 15 years, and in all this time the companies have done nothing to find a solution," said Ornela Garelli, an activist with the group.
The City’s authorities have placed a 150,000 pesos ($7,500) fine and closure of the premises on any organization violating the rule.
Under the new law, packaging made out of compostable materials like corn starch and avocado seeds are allowed.
"But the world's compostable capacity is not even enough to cover the needs of Mexico," a country of nearly 129 million people, said Aldimir Torres, president of Mexico's national plastic industry association.
According to Torres, the ban will greatly affect the industry and could lead to the loss of 20,000 to 50,000 jobs.
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