On June 5th, World Environment Day, Jorge Emilio Martinez, a member of the Ensenada City Council, presented a proposal to eliminate the use of plastic bags and disposable utensils in commercial establishments in every town of the municipality of Ensenada. In addition to the Bahia de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve’s support, this project gathered 100,000 signatures and has the backing of the UN Environment Mexico and several civil society organizations such as Pronatura Noroeste, Terra Peninsular, Pro Esteros, and Manos al Mar.
On June 17th, the Ensenada City Council approved this historic measure which will be implemented by January 1st, 2019. Over the next 6 months, the World Surfing Reserve, and partner organizations will work with the local government to create education efforts about the plastic pollution problem and empower local people to find sustainable strategies to live without plastic after January 1st.
Mara Arroyo Rodriguez, the Bahia de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve Manager added, “This is a big step forward for my community of Ensenada which will help reduce the amount of plastic waste that is discharged into the World Surfing Reserve boundaries, and beyond. We are proud to have been a part of this effort and applaud all of the organizations and community leaders who made this a reality.”
The local government and the different organizations have already started working with representatives of the commerce sector and are visiting local businesses that are already implementing environmentally friendly alternatives and are joining the Ensenada “Libre de Plasticos” (Free of Plastics) campaign.
This initiative was bolstered by the many different organizations working together to achieve common goals, most of these organizations are also working together on the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup for Ensenada on September 22th.