Who banned plastic bags first?

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Sacramento, California (Redacción y agencias) – On August 30, the California legislature approved what could be the first state law in the U.S. that bans the use of disposable plastic bags in supermarkets, stores and pharmacies, as a measure to reduce environmental pollution.

Although similar bans already existed in more than a hundred cities and counties in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, and in hundreds of cities across the country, this is the first time that a state has imposed such a veto.

History of plastic bags

States such as Veracruz and Baja California del Sur prohibit their use. In addition, Mexico City, where the marketing and distribution of single-use plastic bags is not allowed, will ban plastic straws by 2021.

In 2018, the use, delivery, manufacture and distribution of single-use plastic was banned. This includes straws, disposable packaging and utensils made of polyethylene and Tecnopor. The country has until 2021 to adapt to the standard.

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In October 2017, the country banned the delivery of plastic bags in stores in at least 102 coastal communes. In addition, in 2018, the country’s Ministry of Environment passed a law to eliminate the use of straws.

Since 2018, the Galapagos Islands have prohibited the use of straws, “T-shirt-type” plastic bags, non-returnable bottles and expanded polystyrene containers (Icopor). Other cities such as Guayaquil have accepted regulations to replace single-use plastic products.

Pinamar, one of the strongest tourist attractions in the country, banned the use of single-use plastics. Meanwhile, Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata and Ushuaia banned the offer of plastic straws in commercial establishments.

Because plastic bags were banned

The Law establishes a control and sanction regime, the purpose of which is to verify compliance with the obligations derived from the same regulation. Likewise, it contemplates the promotion of the granting of incentives to manufacturers, importers, distributors and marketers of plastic goods.

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The Law provides for the collection of two concepts, one referring to the price of the bags at market value, and the other referring to the tax on the consumption of plastic bags. The Law also establishes some exceptions for health, safety and asepsis issues. For food safety reasons, for example, bags may continue to be used in some cases.

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– The marketing, distribution and delivery of forks, knives, spoons, stirring sticks, plates, straws, cotton swab sticks, balloons and balloon sticks, cups and their lids, food transport trays, tampon applicators is prohibited

“The main objective with this ban that goes into effect as of today is to achieve responsible consumption, where the people of the capital are increasingly aware and stop using single-use plastics so as not to generate pollution to the city and the planet. The idea is that we become more conscious and stop using disposable plastics so as not to pollute the city and the planet,” said Andrée Lilian Guigue Pérez, General Director of Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulation (DGEIRA).

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In order to verify compliance with this prohibition, Sedema personnel visited 2,076 establishments located in plazas and commercial corridors. From January to November 30, 2020, 54 inspections were carried out and 174 warnings were issued to establishments that did not comply with the regulations.