The second largest metropolis in the western hemisphere has banned retail establishments from donating plastic bags to shoppers. Mexico City, on Tuesday August 17, 2010, declared that effective Thursday, August 19, 2010, the application of sanctions for firms supplying plastic bags for free would be in force.
Leticia Bonifaz Alfonso, Legal Adviser of the Federal District, said the main objective of this measure is to promote return to the "bag and the grocery cart" and encourage recycling and reuse of plastic bags. "I think the general environmental awareness will be the most effective way to achieve the objective we seek to discourage the use of plastics in the city, is a widespread awareness that we are betting," he said.
At a press conference, the official clarified that the capital does not mean that as of Thursday there will be an "army" of workers in city government sanctioning institutions. He noted that the penalty was applied after an administrative procedure to start from a complaint and provides for the inspection visit to the establishment.
The application of penalties ranging from a thousand to 20 thousand days of minimum wage-is another of the actions taken by the City Government to discourage the use of plastic bags, but not essential, he stressed. The Legal adviser insisted that this measure aims at making the reduction in the use of plastic in the city and is part of Green Plan promoted by the Federal District Government, "that is the goal, not a pursuit or a hunt for bags "he said.
Accompanied by the Director of the Institute of Science and Technology of the Federal District (ICyTDF) and the Legal Director of the Secretariat of Environment, Maria Eugenia Gonzalez, Alfonso Bonifaz stated: "The issue is how we generate environmental awareness among the society." He further stated that the city government is currently working with both ICyTDF and Secretariat of the Environment in the drafting of the regulations on the use of biodegradable plastic bags.