A ban on single-use plastic bags will take effect in Mexico City on January 1, enacting a law passed by the capital’s Congress in May.
Environment Secretary Marina Robles García told the newspaper El Universal that plastic bags will be banned in all businesses, although for hygiene reasons vendors selling perishable food items such as meat and fish will be able to continue giving them to their customers.
Companies that make plastic bags will also be prohibited from selling them to Mexico City businesses starting Wednesday.
Robles urged residents to carry their own reusable bags and containers when shopping to support compliance with the Solid Waste Law. Some businesses have already stopped using plastic bags, while others have put up notices to remind customers that they will not be provided effective January 1.
Businesses that don’t comply with the ban face fines ranging from 2,245 pesos to 168,980 pesos (US $120 to $8,950), Robles said.
The environment secretary said authorities have met on several occasions with representatives of the plastic industry to discuss implementation of the ban. She added that the government is working to reach agreements that will encourage the use of environmentally-friendly alternatives.
The new Mexico City Solid Waste Law will also prohibit the distribution and commercialization of a range of other single-use plastics including straws, disposable cutlery, cups and plates, coffee stirrers and even balloons.
However, the ban on such products will not take effect until January 2021.