Mexico City — Plastics industry leaders are urging the mayor of Mexico City to delay implementing a ban on plastic bags and utensils, describing them as essential to economic recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Plastic is a resource without which we cannot imagine ourselves living and is indispensable for the [country's] economic reactivation during a prevailing pandemic which clearly will not end in 2021," Aldimir Torres, president of national plastics industry Anipac, said in an Oct. 11 Spanish-language news release.
Anipac is one of a reportedly large but unspecified number of industrial chambers and associations to have written en bloc to Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum asking her to intervene, according to the news release. Details of the letters have not been made public.
Mexico City's 66-member Congress voted 18 months ago to ban all non-compostable and non-biodegradable plastic bags in the capital starting in December 2020 and similar items of plastic straws and other utensils from January 2021.
Torres said legislators' insistence on the use of compostable and biodegradable elements had caused "a great number of companies" to close or restrict their operations.
"They don't have the technical, research or financial capacity to achieve this transition," he said. About 80 percent of the Mexican plastics industry are micro and small companies and they employ 300,000 people, he added.
Anipac (Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C.) belongs to the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin), which was founded in 1918 and represents 46 industrial groupings.