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ARGENTINA | 22-05-2019 16:59

Buenos Aires City government moves to ban plastic straws

The ban will kick in from today, with single-use plastic straws prohibited from being handed out in restaurants and other establishments across the capital unless explicitly requested. In six months time, their use will be banned outright.

The Buenos Aires City government has announced it will gradually eliminate plastic straws from the capital in order to reduce the city's environmental impact.

The ban will kick in from today, with single-use plastic straws prohibited from being handed out in restaurants and other establishments across the capital.

Premises that sell drinks, hotels and bars "will not be able to offer or to place single-use plastic straws in view of the client," read an edict published in the Official Gazette of the Buenos Aires City government.

Prohibition will be introduced in various stages. For this first period, lasting six months, premises are allowed to give single-use plastic straws to customers who request them. However, after that date, single-use plastic straws will be prohibited outright.

According to one local watchdog, around two million plastic straws are disposed of each month in food stores and shopping centres across the capital, creating 1.7 tons of plastic waste.

Plastic straws are the fourth most commonly found plastic residue on coasts and in oceans around the world.

In the Río de la Plata, plastic have been found in the digestive tract of fish. Across the country, 62 percent of plastics produced in Argentina are used for packaging and single-use products.

The City government's move follows in the footsteps of a number of other cities in Argentina, including Mar del Plata and Ushuaia.

In 2017, City officials banned the handing out of plastic bags in supermarkets across Buenos Aires, an initiative that later spread to other cities in Argentina.

- AFP

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