Ask A Mexican

This week we asked: What do you think of the new laws that restrict use of plastic in stores and restaurants? Are you going to cooperate? Do you think they are necessary? Are you even aware of them?

askamexie2325.PNGDiana Martin, 19, waitress.

I just read about it a couple of days ago on social media, and I think it’s a great idea. There’s some customers who come to where I work and once I bring the drinks they say they don’t need a straw, but I had already opened half of the individual wrapper, and I have to throw it away. It would be great if they said that before ordering, so we could keep it in mind. I do cooperate, I try to use as little plastic as possible, and working in a restaurant has really opened my eyes about how much plastic we use, and there’s thousands of restaurants in the country. It is necessary, more so to us who live around coasts.

 

Julia Rodriguez, 22, assistant.

I know they do it in other countries, but I didn’t know we were on board in Mexico. I think it’s a great idea, but we don’t have the education for that. So many people would rather drink with a straw, and tourists, because they say restaurants don’t wash cups and glasses as well. I think it is necessary, but also, we need a lot of education about it, and maybe even a special recycling program. I believe that some of the things we try from other countries are great ideas, but they don’t work as well in Mexico.

 

Pina Montes, 42, cook.

The place where I work has adopted that idea since a long time ago. We don’t have disposable straws, we only have metal and they are really hard to wash. I had no idea the government was going to make a law, but I think its good. We have hurt our planet and beaches so much, there is not much we can do now. When I was young, I remember we could see fishes on the beach, we didn’t have to go very deep. Now, there are almost no fish and they are not as pretty now. When my family took road trips, we would see a lot of wildlife when we drove, enjoying their habitats. And now, there is no wildlife. The amount of plastic we use is crazy, and we use it for everything and because we are lazy. All of the to go containers, can be replaced if we carried a special dish in our bags and backpacks, and took five minutes to wash them.

 

Yamil Aguayo, 28, driver.

Yes I know there will be a law, but not many people know the whole plan. The first steps are education and awareness, and finding a viable solution to cutting off plastic, since we are so dependent on it. I will get on board, and I already try, but it is hard when the places I buy from are not adopting the “trend”. Some of my friends are really going zero waste, and I admire them but it looks extremely hard. Plus, many of the ideas of zero waste come from countries that have a real recycling culture, and in Mexico, only the people with an important economic need do it. For example, a regular Mexican will drink a can of soda and throw it away, and late at night a homeless person will find it and store it, to sell later to buy some food. I think we should really try to start with education before passing such an extreme law.

 

Oscar Trinidad, 62, retired.

I read it on the paper, and I think it’s a good idea, but only for the young people in the country. It is very hard for someone like me, to buy metal straws and wash them or carry around a reusable food container. My granddaughter was telling me about a video there a turtle has a straw in her nose and she “cries” when they pull it out. I don’t think the problem is the plastic, but the fact that we do not recycle it. Back when I was in school, one of my classmates developed a way to recycle coffee cups and the government did not support him. I now understand it is different, but this initiative should have been placed a long time ago, now it just seems like a desperate move that will not work.

 

Karen Loranca, 55, stay at home mom.

I didn’t know it was going to be an official law, and I think its wonderful. I have taught my kids to use less plastic since they were little, because I always thought it was an unnecessary waste of money, but it is a little hard when everything comes in plastic. When I am on the beach, I usually pick up garbage and plastic, and I’m sad to know I pick up a lot of it. A good alternative is carton, but trees are cut and the amount of containers we need exceeds the possible growth of trees to fulfill the demand. It will work, but not now. The law will kick in and start being useful after a while, not immediately.