EnglishEnvironmental Law

APPROVAL OF THE REFORM TO THE SOLID WASTES ACT FOR THE FEDERAL DISTRICT IN MATTERS OF DISTRIBUTION AND SALE OF SINGLE-USE PLASTICS.

On May 9, 2019, in plenary session by the Mexico City Congress, with 51 votes in favour, the Ruling by means of which the modifications and additions to diverse dispositions of the Solid Wastes Act for the Federal District (currently Mexico City), submitted by the Commission for the Preservation of the Environment, Climate Change and Ecological and Animal Protection, was approved.

The reform sets forth the prohibition to commercialise, distribute and hand over to the consumer:

  • 1- Plastic bags, at points of sale of goods or products, unless the bags are compostable. This prohibition will not apply to plastic bags needed by reasons of hygiene or when they prevent food waste if there are no compostable alternatives.  
  • 2- The following non-compostable products when they are manufactured, totally or partially, with plastic and which design was intended for their disposal after a single use:
  • Forks.
  • Knives.
  • Spoons.
  • Mixer sticks.
  • Plates.
  • Straws (unless the straws are intended for medical assistance purposes).
  • Buds for cotton swabs.
  • Balloons and balloon rods.
  • Cups and their lids.
  • Transporting food trays.
  • Tampon applicators.
  • 3- Products containing micro-plastics added intentionally.
  • 4- Single-use coffee capsules manufactured with plastic materials with a low potential for use.

The reform will enter into force the day immediately following its publication in the Mexico City Official Gazette, nevertheless, the prohibitions described above will come into effect as per the following calendar:

  1. The prohibition of commercialising, distributing and handing over plastic bags to consumers at points of sale of goods or products, starting next 2020.
  2. The prohibition of commercialising, distributing and handing over non-compostable products when manufactured, totally or partially, with plastic and which design was intended for their disposal after a single use such as forks, knives, spoons, mixer sticks, plates, straws, buds for cotton swabs, balloons and balloon rods, cups and their lids, transporting food trays and tampon applicators, as of January 1st, 2019.
  3. The prohibition of commercialising, distributing and handing over products containing micro-plastics added intentionally, as of January 1st,2019.
  4. The prohibition of commercialising, distributing and handing over single-use coffee capsules manufactured with plastic materials with a low potential for use, as of January 1st, 2019.

The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation of Mexico City shall implement, within the 180 days following the publication of the reform, an advice program for the single-use plastic manufacturers with the purpose of them conducting a technological reconversion in which compostable plastic alternatives are developed. For such purposes, the Expenditure Budget must foresee an adequate budgetary provision to conduct these activities.

We consider that, regardless of the positive effects that this type of measures has towards the environment, their implementation may cause a significant impact in the activities of commercial, industrial or services establishments that use or distribute this type of products in Mexico City as well as for their manufacturers, if they are not implemented properly by the authorities.

The Environmental Law Practise of the firm will be pleased to provide any additional information on the topic.

SINCERELY

Daniel del Riodelrio@basham.com.mx
Ricardo Evangelistarevangelista@basham.com.mx
Mariana Arrietamarrieta@basham.com.mx

Mexico City, May 13th, 2019

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