August 27, 2009

Mexico City says ‘no’ to nonbiodegradable plastic bags

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Mexico City has joined the anti-plastic bag crusade. It became illegal last week for supermarkets and other businesses to hand out nonbiodegradable plastic bags to consumers, reports LA Times blogger Deborah Bonello from Mexico City. With the ban, Mexico City becomes the second bigggest city in the Western Hemisphere to enact such a ban, following San Francisco, which enacted the ban way back in 2007. Seattle voters rejected a fee-for-plastic (and paper) earlier this month after Big Chemical spent $1 million lobbying against the measure. San Jose city council members currently are considering such a measure, as reported earlier this week on InvestigateWest.

Bonello reports having her grocerices packed into plastic bags “emblazoned with a logo promising they were biodegradable.”

She also notes:

The move by the Mexico City government follows a number of other recent environmentally friendly initiatives, including the introduction along some routes of new buses that emit less pollution, and a planned bike-lending scheme expected to launch in December.

Officials hope to increase bicycle use, but riding on the streets of the city right now is a health risk due to a lack of bicycle lanes and reckless drivers.

— Rita Hibbard

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