Mexico City passes ban on plastic bags, utensils

Mexico City lawmakers have passed a ban on plastic bags, utensils and other disposable plastic items to take effect at the end of 2020.

The city of more than 9 million residents - with another 11 million in surrounding areas - is known for a vibrant street food and carry-out culture. It would give businesses more than a year to make the switch to biodegradable products.

The ban on plastic bags would take effect in December 2020, followed by straws, utensils, balloons and other single-use items in January 2021.

Lawmakers say the measure is necessary to move businesses toward more environmentally friendly products and reduce the amount of waste the city generates.

A statement Thursday from the city's congress did not mention what penalties could be applied for noncompliance.