In an interview for San Diego Red, the founder of the civil association "Naturalus", Arturo Angeles Castro, informed that as of Sunday, September 20, they will begin to fine merchants, businesses or companies that offer (give away, sell, rent, lend) plastic bags in Tijuana.
According to biologist Angeles, this initiative in which his association collaborated along with others located in Tijuana and San Diego, seeks to prohibit the use of T-shirt type plastic bags, whether biodegradable or not, which allow products to be transported from the store to the home; this due to the negative impact that this type of material causes to the environment.
"There is an idea that what biodegrades disappears, but plastic never, ever disappears. The only thing that happens is that plastic products with the movement of waves and ultraviolet rays are shattered and those pieces become smaller, smaller, smaller until they are microscopic. We stop seeing them, but 100% of the product is still contaminating but only spread all over the sea. Plastic bags are the same case," explained the expert.
Thus, being a lethal threat to marine biodiversity and to humans, since once this plastic becomes a micro plastic it can cause different diseases such as cancer. The reform was approved in August 2018 by the city of Tijuana's council, modifying the Environmental Protection Regulations, coming into effect in March 2019 and being until September 2020 that the fines for traders or businesses that provide this product will begin.
The fines, which will go "from 880 pesos to 26,400 pesos depending on the incidence and size of the company," confirmed Arturo Angeles, it was decided to apply them until now to "give them time to make the transition gradually, without repercussions, without affecting the economy or the business mode of the company".
"We wanted everyone to win with this reform, we wanted the environment to win and obviously all of us, for commerce in Tijuana and the city's infrastructure to win, because plastic bags block the rain drainage and cause flooding," said Angeles for San Diego Red.
Are all plastic bags banned? According to the director of Naturalus, "small plastic bags for storing fruit or vegetables, or plastic bags for storing frozen food or food that is already packed in plastic bags, such as bread, are not prohibited.
If before the pandemic "it was already predicted that by 2050 we would see more plastic than fish in the sea, with the pandemic we are using much more plastic, the likelihood that the amount of plastic will exceed the amount of fish before 2050 increased," Arturo said.
So if you are one of those who with the COVID-19 pandemic stopped using their cloth or reusable bags for fear of infection, the biologist mentioned that "the coronavirus is not an excuse to abandon certain environmental conservation practices that were already in place. Besides, plastic is a material as sterile or not, as any other type of material. In fact, the coronavirus survives for three days in plastic, so plastic is not the perfect solution to avoid infection."
Now you know, if you're going to the supermarket this weekend, don't be caught off guard by having to carry everything in your hands or in the shopping cart. In fact, this change has already been noticed in some stores in the city. What the founder of this association, in charge of raising awareness about environmental care, recommends is to use the bags YOU ALREADY HAVE, or buy reusable cloth bags, use boxes, baskets, or even make a bag yourself from old clothes.
At least in Tijuana, 10.2 million plastic bags are thrown away every week. Are you for or against this ban?