AP NEWS

Mexico City passes ban on plastic bags, utensils

May 9, 2019
FILE - In this July 5, 2016 file photo, a street vendor sells fried snacks packaged in plastic bags in Mexico City. Mexico City lawmakers announced on Thursday, May 9, 2019 they have passed a ban on plastic bags, utensils and other disposable plastic items to take effect at the end of 2020, giving businesses more than a year to make the switch to biodegradable products. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City lawmakers have passed a ban on plastic bags, utensils and other disposable plastic items to take effect at the end of 2020.

The city of more than 9 million residents - with another 11 million in surrounding areas - is known for a vibrant street food and carry-out culture. It would give businesses more than a year to make the switch to biodegradable products.

The ban on plastic bags would take effect in December 2020, followed by straws, utensils, balloons and other single-use items in January 2021.

Lawmakers say the measure is necessary to move businesses toward more environmentally friendly products and reduce the amount of waste the city generates.

A statement Thursday from the city’s congress did not mention what penalties could be applied for noncompliance.