As its strives to convince local legislators of the merits of recycling vs. biodegradablity, Mexico's plastics industry association says its members are ready to boost the percentage of recycled materials in the plastic bags they produce.
The city's Legislative Assembly is scheduled to vote on amendments to its Solid Wastes Law, which for the past month has threatened all commercial establishments with heavy fines and jail if their staffs give away plastic bags that are not biodegradable.
At least 10 percent of the content of plastic bags used in Mexico City comes from recycled materials, while some plastic bags are made entirely from recycled pellets, according to Eduardo Martínez Hernandez, president of Asociacón Nacional de Industrias del Plastico AC, or Anipac.
The industry is ready to respond to the challenge of increasing the percentage of recycled materials [in plastic bags] and hopes that the authorities play their part by introducing programs to encourage people to separate garbage, Martínez said Sept. 20.
He said the bag law, which took effect Aug. 18, has caused chaos and confusion, while the penalties have not been applied even once.
The 66 city legislators, who recently returned from their summer break, will vote on amendments proposed by three of the Assembly's commissions that include throwing out an article that designs, disseminates and applies a program to substitute plastics. Among other things, the commissions are calling for legislators to stipulate that any plastic bags sent to landfills should biodegrade after 10 years.
Martínez described the week of September 19-25 as decisive for the future of plastics bags in the capital. In an open letter to members, he said Anipac, which has spent 49 years working for the plastics industry, is committed to changing society's mistaken idea that plastics are to blame for environmental pollution.
Anipac has lobbied for a recycling solution to Mexico City's garbage collection problem.