State and local governments in all regions of Mexico are beginning to take action for environmental preservation due to growing concern about how single use disposable plastics can affect the environment and marine life.
Single-use plastics are so prevalent, especially in tourist cities and in public places like beaches and parks, that it can be difficult to know how to address the widespread use, collection and disposal of these items.
Straws, plastic cups, cutlery, bags, bottles, styrofoam, and a wide variety of non-biodegradable products are the current focus of attention due to the ease with which they reach our hands and with which they are wasted.
New Proposed Plastics Ban
During the recent legislative session, State Executive Carlos Joaquín of the Secretariat of Ecology and Environment proposed new legislation for the prevention and integral management of solid waste in the State of Quintana Roo.
The proposed legislation includes strengthening recycling, prohibition of plastic bags, straws and styrofoam, as well as comprehensive management focused on a circular economy.
During the legislative session, the Secretary of Ecology and Environment Alfredo Arellano Guillermo emphasized the need for personal responsibility, as we are all global citizens and our individual actions impact the environment as a whole. Quintana Roo has the largest population of young people in the country, so it is especially necessary to promote the culture of conservation in this state, with the hopes that the next generation will grow up seeing the importance of protecting the environment.
The proposed legislation is the result of coordinated work by municipalities of the state. After forums and consultations, all parties involved have reached a consensus as to how to construct the framework of the proposed new law.
During the legislative session, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Rajendra Kumar Pachauri gave the keynote speech in which he said, “Climate change requires urgent action.” He called for a change at a personal level for the preservation of our planet. “Protecting the vulnerable from the threat of climate change is changing what we all do, and that requires political action and changes in individual behavior,” he said.
The proposed legislation was presented to the president of the Great Commission of the XV Legislature of the State Congress, Eduardo Martinez Arcila. Also in attendance were the president of the Commission of Ecology and Climate Change of the XV Legislature deputy Santy Montemayor, Francisco Zubiran Padilla municipal secretary of Ecology and Urban Development of Benito Juárez, as well as the secretary of Tourism Marisol Vanegas, the environmental protection attorney of Quintana Roo, Miguel Angel Nadal and Dr. Izarelly Rosillo Pantoja, environmental adviser of the SEMA, to name a few.
This new proposed legislation is a sign of progress in the state of Quintana Roo. Government leadership will pave the way for change, and biodegradable options to replace single-use plastics will come from the private sector, in the area of new technology. Currently, many companies are already working on biodegradable products to take the place of plastic straws, plates, cups and bags. Avocado straws are already being used in some bars and restaurants. A lot of people like the new reusable metal straws, as well. They are made out of stainless steel or copper, and you can pack your own and bring it to your favorite bar or restaurant!