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Ban on plastic straws, bags and containers becomes law in Yucatan

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Merida, Yucatan — Single-use plastic bags, drinking straws and containers like those foam clamshells used for take-out meals and leftovers have all been formally prohibited in Yucatan.

The state legislature on Wednesday handed the governor the bill after voting unanimously to pass it. An earlier measure did not include the food containers.

The president of the legislative environmental commission, Harry Gerardo Rodríguez Botello Fierro, said that this provision is the most complete in Mexico.

He pointed out that it establishes a gradual transition away from plastics and toward sustainable materials.

The law will be applied in three stages. The first involves commercial establishments that are in the vicinity of cenotes, natural protected areas and ecological reserves. They will have six months to be in compliance.

In the second phase, supermarkets, self-service and convenience stores, pharmacies, markets, restaurants and the like will have to do the same within a 12 months.

In the third stage, establishments engaged in the wholesale and retail sale of the indicated products have 18 months to cease offering these items.

In addition, the state’s municipalities have six months to adapt their environmental regulations to reflect the decree.

They will have to issue municipal programs to allow substitutions and a gradual elimination of single-use plastic bags, polystyrene containers (unicel) and plastic straws.

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