Mexico City’s plastic bag law faces amendments

20 September 2010 23:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Groups this week will start debating changes to Mexico City's law regulating plastic bags, industry sources said on Monday.

The law went into effect about a month ago, and confusion ensued about its implementation, bringing complaints from all sectors of the plastic industry.

A multilateral commission studied the problems and is presenting recommendations to legislators in Mexico City this week for modification of some provisions of the law.

The proposed changes remove provisions that call for the creation of a plastic-substitution programme, on grounds that plastics are less harmful to the environment.

The amendments will also modify a prohibition on free plastic bags. Under the changes, merchants could include the cost of the plastic bags with the overall price of the product being sold, as is customarily done with regular bags.

However, the amendments would prohibit the distribution of plastic bags that do not comply with ecological criteria that limits the life cycle of the bags to no more than 10 years.

Industry sources remained sceptical because the law lacks a minimum time for the bags to degrade.

Merchants have complained that some bags degrade too easily. Also, bags that break down cannot be recycled.

For this reason opponents argue that the bags are both more expensive and harmful to the environment.

Moreover, problems could still persist in the city's bag laws, feeding more feed scepticism and consternation among industry members.

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By: George Martin
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