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Esquite vendors have replaced Styrofoam with corn husks. Esquite vendors go green.

Corn husks replace Styrofoam in San Miguel de Allende

A ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam took effect in the municipality on January 1

Anyone looking to snack on esquites — corn prepared with mayonnaise, cheese, chili and lime — in San Miguel de Allende can do so Styrofoam-free: vendors have replaced the plastic cups with corn husks.

Mayor Luis Alberto Villareal boasted that his city was the first, even before Mexico City, to work to eradicate the use of polluting single-use materials.

“We’ve been working all year, but the truth is that the society of San Miguel is very participatory, it’s a committed society, it’s a progressive society, and [getting participation] hasn’t been too complicated,” he said.

“I can’t tell you that as of today no one is using [plastic bags]. What I can tell you is that from the first of January, [the ban] is municipal law and we’re working every day to create awareness.”

The law bans the use of single-use plastics and Styrofoam, such as straws, cups, plates, bags and other items.

The municipal government launched a campaign called Zero Plastics, More Life, through which it has worked with stores and food and tourism service providers to have a broad impact.

The law stipulates that a vendor or business that does not comply will be fined 5,000-85,000 pesos (US $266-$4,500).

It also stipulates that businesses that buy and sell plastics and Styrofoam in the city must prove to the municipal environmental department that their products are biodegradable and compostable by means of a certification by an authorized laboratory.

The initiative is part of San Miguel de Allende’s resolve to improve its local ecology, for which the local government declared 2020 the Year of the Environment and Sustainability.

As for being first with environmentally-friendly esquites, a Oaxaca city vendor is already in the running for that distinction. Jesús Alvarado Carrera, better known by his nickname El Chuy, has been selling esquites on corn husks since May 2018.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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