Despite the fact that in 2018 the modification to the Environmental Protection Regulation was approved to ban plastic bags in Tijuana, coming into effect in March 2019, and planning the application of fines to commercial establishments for September 2020; municipal authorities extended the period of sanctions for March 19, 2021.
The above, due to the COVID-19 health crisis that occurred in the state and in the world, bringing with it several complications, as reported.
Fines for businesses that provide this disposable product to their customers will range from 800 to 26 thousand pesos. The implementation of this measure will be supervised by inspectors from the Environmental Protection Department of the Tijuana City Hall and the Municipal Inspection and Verification Department.
According to Arturo Angeles, director of Naturalus A.C., an association involved in the proposal of this initiative, the plastic bags that are prohibited are the T-shirt type, both conventional and biodegradable, as well as those made of bioplastic or biopolymers; while the use of small plastic bags to deposit fruits or vegetables are still allowed.
"Compostable bags are prohibited, because in Tijuana we do not have an industrial oven to be able to compost the bags, a consumer who sees that a product is compostable assumes that by burying it in the ground it will turn into soil but an industrial oven is needed to melt and compost that product. And the bags that are made of potato, nopal, corn or different biopolymers are also prohibited because those bags, not being one hundred percent plastic, cannot be recycled and end up contaminating," explained Arturo, who is also a biologist.
It is worth mentioning that in Tijuana alone more than 10 million plastic bags are discarded every week, so despite the delay of these fines, this is still an achievement for the city, the environment and the population.
Angeles commented that the modification to the regulation is convenient for the businesses because for them it means less operating expenses, at the same time, it benefits the citizens because it would prevent more garbage such as plastic bags from clogging the storm drains in rainy weather, causing problems in different areas of the city. On the other hand, it also helps to maintain and enjoy a clean beach, and therefore avoid the death of thousands of marine animals due to plastic pollution.
"Tijuana, having direct access to the ocean, I think it is the city's responsibility to stop millions of bags from ending up in the sea," he added.
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