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Querétaro first city in Mexico to ban use of plastic bags

Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro — The City of Querétaro has taken an unprecedented step in Mexico, becoming the first city in the country to prohibit the use of plastic bags in stores and other establishments.

By unanimous decision, the City Council approved the Regulation of Environmental Protection and Climate Change, which stipulates economic sanctions of up to 200,000 peso to anyone who violates the new provision.

“The objective is not to sanction, it is to raise awareness, it is not to punish, it is to collaborate as a city to save our planet,” said Marcos Aguilar, municipal president of Querétaro.

A diagnosis made by the municipality revealed that two million disposable bags are used everyday in the city, each one taking between 100 and 500 years to degrade, in addition to generating 8,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

The state capital city has begun a campaign to prevent an exorbitant increase in the amount of garbage per person by inviting citizens who are sending gifts this season, to do so without the wrapping.

“Recall that on average throughout the year, each of us generate a 1.5 kilos of garbage. That means on average 13,000 tons of waste per day, and in the holiday season, it increases by double by the wrappings used on gifts,” said Tanya Müller García, Secretary of the Environment of Mexico City.

Bags that are accepted are those that are made of any reusable material.

As of April 1, 2018, more than 2 million of these items will be discontinued in stores and other businesses, preventing thousands of tons of plastic from reaching landfills.