Mexico City — For the second time in a month, Mexico's plastics industry leaders have appealed to authorities not to implement a ban on nondegradable plastic bags and utensils in the nation's capital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mexico's national plastics industry association Anipac and major bag-making organization Inboplast A.C. called for the postponement in a letter delivered Nov. 12 to the city's 66-member Congress.
They made a similar appeal to Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum a month ago. However, neither Anipac nor Inboplast has revealed whether Sheinbaum responded.
Legislators voted 19 months ago to ban nonbiodegradable and noncompostable plastic bags in the capital from December 2020 and nondegradable plastic straws and utensils from January 2021.
"This is the worst economic crisis in the past 100 years," said Álvaro Hernández, Inboplast's president, in a news release, adding that companies lack the financial, technical and investigative capacity to switch to compostable products by 2021.
Emphasizing the pandemic-driven crisis facing most companies, Anipac President Aldimir Torres said they had been forced to lay off at least 30 percent of their workforce because of a collapse in demand for their products.
"In some cases, the layoffs have between 50 and 70 percent of the workforce. By the end of 2020 we expect to have lost 3,200 jobs, a figure that will grow if the [ban] comes into force," he said.
Based in the state of Michoacan, Inboplast is an association of 35 bag-making companies that claim to produce 60 percent of all the plastic bags for commercial use in Mexico.
Anipac, the Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C., is based in Mexico City.