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In Tijuana, Plastic Bag Ban Goes Big

Plastic bags are seen through the window of a restaurant, May 24, 2012.

Photo by Associated Press

Above: Plastic bags are seen through the window of a restaurant, May 24, 2012.

In Tijuana, Plastic Bag Ban Goes Big

Jean Guerrero, border reporter, KPBS News


Six months from now, Tijuana's ban on any kind of plastic bag will take effect.

Tijuana is the first Mexican city on the border to pass such a ban.

Related: Tijuana’s Plastic Bag Ban Expected To Help San Diego Beaches And River Valley

Passed by the Tijuana City Council in August, the ban caught the attention of Leo Heileman, UN Environment Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Every year the world uses around 5 billion plastic bags, and most of them end up in the oceans. Inclusive initiatives to reduce the use of bags, where government, private sector and civil society agree, as in the case of Tijuana, are crucial to protect our seas," he said in a recent statement.

The city council was inspired to act by California's ban, passed in 2016, which has been instrumental in reducing plastic trash in San Diego County, including in the Tijuana River Valley. A 2009 study of 3,500 tons of trash in the valley found about 9 million plastics in the marsh. That quantity was cut in half after California banned plastics in 2016.

California, however, still allows the sale of some plastic bags.

Tijuana has become the first Mexican city on border to ban plastic bags. The ban was inspired by the success of California's ban, but it goes much farther.


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