As of 2017, Ponguinguiola restructured its programmatic approach to recycling, given that a comprehensive solution to the problem requires reducing the production and consumption of single-use plastics. This is why, taking into consideration as well that it would be necessary to work together with other organizations, the #Desplastifícate alliance was created, which currently includes 35 non-profit organizations from the state of Baja California Sur. The alliance’s objective is to change consumption habits statewide in order to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics, beginning with styrofoam take-out containers, plastic straws, and plastic grocery bags. The #Desplastifícate campaign seeks to promote empathy in all of our state’s citizens, and to increase their awareness of the powerful negative impact that the unrestrained use of these products has on public health and the environment.
The alliance is pursuing its goal along 4 main axes:
Non-profit organizations, municipal government, state government, and chambers of commerce all collaborated together to develop the strategic plan which was used to introduce and pass a law which amended state environmental law to restrict three single-use plastic products: styrofoam, straws, and grocery bags.
The education of children and young people is the most important part of creating agents for change. By teaching workshops and hosting conversations, we are trying to contribute to the formation of conscientious and responsible citizens who care for public health and the environment, both for future generations as well as for the present ones. The education committee uses a methodology called “Co-Creation Workshops” to develop material for use in educational centers. These workshops function by posing the impact of the problem, and ask participants to propose a solution that eliminates single-use plastics. They examine whether it is necessary to go through a phase of using compostable disposable products in order to eventually end up with a culture of using washable, reusable products that prevent the unchecked use of plastics and its attendant harm to public health. For this reason, the organizations that specialize in the education sector have actively participated in the following actions:
As agents of change, diverse South Baja Californian business interests have united to this movement in order to achieve the desplastification of our state. They are implementing simple actions, from the responsible party for each business to the staff, such as employee trainings, offering environment-friendly takeout container options and discounts to customers, by which they are avoiding the use of disposable products and reducing the use of plastic bags to zero. The businesspeople and entrepreneurs of Baja California Sur have been and continue to be a fundamental part of achieving this great change for a plastic-free planet. Through a relationship with the National Chamber of Restaurants and Seasoned Food Industry (CANIRAC) and the Hoteliers Association, we seek to create an important bond with this sector of society, since their participation in this transition is vital.
The businesses that participate in the trainings and follow-ups to reduce their plastics use and, are given badges of recognition and honors by #Desplastifícate through a 7-step process:
In 2019, we successfully awarded badges endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (PNUMA), which is part of the United Nations (UN), awarding a total of 12 badges in the Los Cabos municipality. There are 10 more badges in progress to being earned for 2020.
As part of the communication strategy, we elaborated different printed, digital, and audiovisual materials. Since the beginning of this movement, we have distributed these materials in many different parts of the state through different platforms, such as social networks, press, and radio. Through these forms of communication, we are trying to reach the biggest possible portion of the population with #Desplastifícate’s message. More and more are joining in and taking action to care for our health and environment.
The forms of information dissemination for 2019 were based on informing the public that the new law prohibiting the use of three disposable plastic products (styrofoam containers, plastic straws, and plastic shopping bags) would take effect in the month of August. To spread this message, it was necessary to maintain an active social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube). We succeeded in giving:
We also continued maintaining the website www.desplastificate.mx, active, which contains complete information about the program and activities that the #Desplastifícate alliace is developing and implementing.
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