Mexico City ban on single-use plastics takes effect

A broad ban on single-use containers, forks, straws and other ubiquitous items takes effect in Mexico’s capital, one of the world’s largest cities, after more than a year of preparation

MEXICO CITY -- A broad ban on single-use containers, forks, straws and other ubiquitous items takes effect in Mexico’s capital, one of the world’s largest cities, after more than a year of preparation.

Mexico City lawmakers passed the ban on plastic bags, utensils and other disposable plastic items in 2019. The city of 9 million people has spent the past year adjusting or in some cases ignoring the impending law change. The ban on plastic bags took effect last year.

But without the imposition of fines, the change will likely be slow in coming.

Mexico City is currently under red alert as its hospitals' COVID-19 beds hover near capacity.

The woman, who declined to give her name because she didn’t want to be singled out for enforcement, said it wasn’t just her. She said vendors and market stalls were still using plastic all over the city.

She asked how she was supposed to give customers steaming hot tamales without a plastic bag.

The ban also covers disposable plastic cups, plastic stirrers, single-use coffee capsules and balloons among other items.

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