San Pedro La Laguna, a small town in Guatemala, banned single use plastic in 2016 according to the UN Environment Assembly.
Disposable plastic bags and styrofoams were polluting the lake, and the cost of proper disposal was getting too expensive for the city. So they major banned them.
Embracing reusable bags and banana leaves?
Most people in the town adapted quickly and now use reusable baskets to carry groceries, according to the article. Probably in part because business owners and residents face fines for violating the law. The town found a good solution to an expensive city-wide problem. It’s inspiring and I consider it progress, which is why I’m sharing it as part of the progress section I’m working on.
However, reusable grocery bags are easy enough to use and the few times I forget mine I am wholeheartedly embarrassed. Especially in front of the Wholefoods cashiers who definitely recognize me by now. I’m pretty sure they judge me, especially when my kids are whining that I refuse to buy them over-priced peanut butter cups. But I digress.
The part that’s interesting about the town in Guatemala is they wrap their meat in banana leaves. Which is great, if you have a lot of banana leaves laying around (and you have a butcher who faces a fine of $2,000 if he wraps the meat in paper lined with plastic). But most major grocery stores still sell meat wrapped in either some type of saran wrap and styrofoam combination or the butcher paper is lined with a thin plastic film. Which is why plastic waste is such a problem. It’s a ubiquitous part of our lives. It is the container for everything from crackers to chicken breasts.
What’s the best environmental solution?
So how do the rest of us get away from plastic-wrapped everything? Paper comes to mind as a short-term solution. Anyone (or any business) can buy plastic-free butcher paper on Amazon. But
Note: The links to Amazon contain an affiliate code. If you buy something I might get a small commission. I knew you knew that, but I had to tell you anyway.