Mexico City — Mexico's national plastics industry association has delivered a withering attack on authorities in the Mexican capital over plastic bag and utensil bans, accusing them of totally ignoring its calls for anti-plastic laws to be put on hold.
"We have never been listened to," Anipac Managing Director Raúl Mendoza Tapia told Plastics News Dec. 2, claiming that the association had made "endless efforts" to argue its case.
"[Talks] have become an apparent dialogue in which our proposals are heard and never taken into account. On the contrary, we have been oppressed and rejected by [Mexico City's] environment secretariat."
A law banning non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastic bags in the capital from December 2020 and non-degradable plastic straws and utensils from January 2021 was approved by legislators in May 2019.
The 66-member congress subsequently modified the legislation, banning bags starting in January 2020, Mendoza said in an email, "despite the absence of regulations and norms needed to support the law."
The plastic utensils part of the so-called Ley de Residuos Sólidos is scheduled to take effect as planned in January 2021. "We have asked for the introduction of this particular part of the law to be postponed, especially while the COVID-19 contingency lasts," Mendoza added. "They are banning products that safeguard the hygiene and health of the general public."
In recent weeks, Anipac (Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C.) has written to Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and the local congress asking them to intercede on behalf of the industry. "Unfortunately, we have not received a reply," a second Anipac spokesperson said.
In November, Anipac President Aldimir Torres said the capital's bag ban had forced some companies to lay off up to 70 percent of their workforce because of a drop in demand for their products. He expected 3,200 bag-making jobs in Mexico to be lost by the end of 2020.