Alternatives to single-use plastic bags. Traditional reusable shopping bags seem to be making a comeback in Mexico City, where a ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect on January 1. The use of cloth and mesh bags, along with those affixed to contraptions that look like handtrucks, have always been a relatively common sight in traditional markets and popular with housewives in the city’s lower-class neighborhoods. “We are returning to fiber and plastic reusable shopping bags. We have bags in different sizes that cost 15 pesos, along with [others] costing 10, 25, 40 and 45 pesos. They are washable and reusable,” commented a merchant at the Jamaica Market southeast of the city center. In some stands, especially those selling spices and grains, the cucurucho is making a comeback. This is a sheet of butcher paper spiraled into a cone shape, twisted, filled and folded for carrying. One very traditional shopping bag is that made of ixtle, a fiber that dates back to the pre-Hispanic period. It comes from the maguey plant, whose thick leaves are beaten to separate the pulp and liquid from the support strands that become the fiber. Depending on the age and size of the […]

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