Lawmakers in Veracruz have unanimously approved legislation banning the use of plastic bags and straws by businesses.
The state Congress modified the solid waste management law following a proposal by the local environmental organization Chalchi Foundation and Deputy Cinthya Lobato Calderón.
On Monday, the proposal was passed by a unanimous vote.
The state’s 212 municipalities will have 180 days to modify their own laws accordingly, while state authorities will oversee a gradual prohibition on the use of plastic by commercial establishments and their replacement with biodegradable alternatives.
” . . . awareness will be raised and [consumers] will be given alternatives through education and environmental programs,” said the president of the Chalchi Foundation.
Olga Díaz Ordaz Terrones explained that a single plastic straw — which can take more than 100 years to break down — can kill a pelican or a turtle, while a plastic bag can kill a dolphin or other similar sized species. Death is by asphyxiation.
“We have to change our consumer habits . . . it’s an act of love for the planet, it’s an act of environmental intelligence. [We should] bring our own tote bag and ask for drinks without a straw,” said Díaz.
She doesn’t think the new law will have any economic repercussions in Mexico because most straws are imported from China, while Mexican firms that manufacture single-use plastic bags and straws will have the necessary time to create biodegradable products.”