Mexico City – Bans on single-use plastics are spreading in North America – including Mexico – and the topic was the focus of the Plastimagen Light trade fair.
Tony Radoszewski, president and CEO of the Washington-based Plastics Industry Association, launched a sharp assault on “absurd plastic bans” in North America on March 23, urging the industry to work harder to protect jobs and the public.
Campaigns branding plastics toxic “as is the case in Canada,” and federal and federal bans in the United States have tightened since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Radoszewski said.
“We must therefore work harder to protect our employees, members and the public from these absurd plastic bans.” It is imperative to promote responsible use of plastics, including recycled materials.
As a guest speaker at the virtual exhibition and conference Plastimagen Light, which is coordinated by the event specialist Tarsus Group in the Mexican capital, Radoszewski said that the United States, Canada and Mexico together form one of the “strongest plastics trading blocs in the world”.
The three countries whose governments modified the North American Free Trade Agreement two years ago, now the USMCA or in Mexico T-MEC, employed a highly skilled workforce and served dynamic markets.
The result, he added, is “a large continental bloc creating millions of jobs and economic growth”.
During online meetings at Plastimagen Light, an unspecified number of Mexican plastics industrialists “denounced” the ban on plastic bags and single-use plastic items imposed over the past two years, Tarsus said in a press release.
They also reiterated their support for what is known as the National Agreement for the New Plastics Economy, which was signed by Mexican lawmakers, industrialists, retailers and civic groups in December 2019, Tarsus said.
The goals of the agreement include collecting and recycling or composting up to 80 percent of all PET and 45 percent of all packaging plastics produced in the country by 2030.
Anipac, Mexico’s national association for the plastics industry, said the deal “puts Mexico at the forefront of plastics recycling in the Americas” and described the goals as “similar to those envisaged by the European Union”.
Anipac’s technical director, Susana Hernández, said 183 initiatives to restrict or ban the use of plastics across Mexico are awaiting legislative approval.
“The entire national territory is regulated, with the exception of [the states of] Aguascalientes, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas, “she said during a presentation in which she referred to the regulations and standards of the Mexican plastics industry.
“It’s a situation that has made consumer products difficult to manufacture and commercialize,” she said. “What we are looking for is a regulatory framework that does not prohibit the use of plastics, but offers recycling and composting as a solution.”
She said consumers were confused about issues such as the use of paper and biodegradable products. There is “a clear lack of understanding of the overall social responsibility” towards plastics.