Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mexico City bans free plastic bags

A new law has come into effect in Mexico City giving the authorities
the power to fine shops which give away free plastic bags to their

In future, shops in the Mexican capital will have to charge for the
bags, which must also be biodegradable.

As well as fines of up to $90,000 (£57,700), shop owners not complying
can be given a 36-hour jail term.

A local official said the law was part of the city's "Green Plan" and
aimed to raise awareness of the environment.

"This won't happen overnight," Leticia Bonifaz Alfonso told the Efe news agency.

Officials estimate that people in Mexico City at present use more than
20 million plastic bags per day. They are blamed for many health and
environmental hazards.

Efforts in cities across the world are being made to reduce the use of
plastic bags.

The bags are made mostly from polyethylene, a derivative of petroleum.
When discarded, they can take hundreds of years to decompose.


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