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Municipal council considers ordinance to reduce the use of plastic

Cuenca Councilmen Cristian Zamora and Andrés Ugalde are developing legislation to regulate and reduce the use of plastic in Cuenca. A draft of the proposal was sent to the council’s Environment Commission and the mayor’s office last week.

Non-reuseable plastic bottles are a target of the proposed city ordinance.

“We are considering a number of rules to control plastic pollution and have several specific targets in mind,” Ugalde says. “One of these is to reduce and eliminate single-use plastic bags and containers.”

Zamora and Ugalde want to enlist the help of experts at the Universities of Cuenca and Azuay to help formulate new regulations. “We understand that changes must be made incrementally due to the prevalence of plastic in our culture but we also understand the harm it is doing to our environment and to human health,” Zamora says.

One option the two councilmen are considering is requiring that shoppers provide their own reuseable bags at grocery and department stores. “This is common practice in Europe and we see no reason it could not be implemented here,” says Ugalde.

28 thoughts on “Municipal council considers ordinance to reduce the use of plastic

  1. Plastic grocery bags also serve as trash bags, so there’s that which never seems to get mentioned or addressed.

    1. It appears that they Are considering plastic grocery bags as well. ““We are considering a number of rules to control plastic pollution and have several specific targets in mind,” Ugalde says. “One of these is to reduce and eliminate single-use plastic bags and containers.” So that is one step. But I agree – also consider what is used to collect waste – the large trash bags.

  2. City buses continue to foul the air; commercial enterprises continue polluting both water and air; traffic laws lack enforcement; it’s pretty apparent the tram is more of a problem than a solution and yet two councilmen are concerned about plastic bags. That’s Big!

    1. every day the Tranvia is delayed is another day of extreme pollution in El Centro … electric buses would be delivered over a number of years and would cost a lot more than any maintenance issues that keep getting raised. Buses need maintenance too ? … the electric Tranvia is here now and paid for. stop the pollution ASAP.

      1. What’s the point of running the tranvia if the only passengers are a few gringos? Even Lady Lee won’t be riding unless she’s pointed in the right direction.

        1. ha ha you are so funny quoting ridership numbers when the Tranvia hasn’t even started. are you psychic ? you must have gone to the ProudAmerican (who moved out of the US to live in Cuenca ? not so Proud ?) school of economics where you construct and pay for a $350 million Tranvia and throw it away before it even starts based on your opinion that it isn’t any good.
          As for your comment that it is only for gringos, as far as know there were no gringos involved in the planning, design, approval or funding of the Tranvia ? there must have been many studies where they interviewed local people before approving it. no one spends $350 million to create an amusement ride for a few thousand gringos in a city the size of Cuenca where there are maybe 600,000. if it was for gringos only it would run from Gringolandia to El Centro.

          1. I quit seriously arguing about the tranvia a long time ago. You’re right. It’s built. The money’s spent. Businesses have been damaged. There’s no going back. I’m not opposed to giving it a fair chance, though I’m fairly certain if that ever happens, it will fail soon after. In a nutshell, it doesn’t fit into this place and time.
            I get a kick reading the comments from gringos who aren’t really plugged in. “There must have been many studies where they interviewed local people before approving it”. Are you serious? I joke (sort of) about the tranvia being built for gringos because of the comments that compare Cuenca’s tranvia to other successful trams around the world. How many gringos planned, designed, and supervised the construction of Cuenca’s tranvia would depend on your definition of “gringo”.
            I still enjoy poking fun. What else am I going to do, cry?

            1. No, go for a ride with us when the tranvia finally begins service. Everybody but Still Watching, of course. He wants to hijack the damned thing and go joy riding. I think he watched The Taking of Pelham 123 too many times.

          2. Right on, Bob, but the figure Lorenzo and others keep using for the cost of the tranvía is grossly inflated. By at least 100 million dollars.

          1. Thanks, Donald. That video reached my soul and I think that I now understand you more than I used to. No sarcasm or cheap jokes on this one.

          2. Thanks, Donald. That video reached my soul and I think that I now understand you more than I used to. No sarcasm or cheap jokes on this one.

            1. I’m an easy read. I love trains. “There isn’t a train I wouldn’t ride, no matter where it’s going.” E. St. V. M.

              1. I worked for Santa Fe railway, Canadian National and BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) for a total of 14 years and met a lot of train nuts … they could point out the difference between one model of locomotive and another by one having a rounded handrail and the other had 90 degree … they all looked the same to me.

                1. I will admit that my admiration has a twinge of jealousy to it. What did you do on the railroad? If you were an engineer, station master or conductor, I’ll happily take you to lunch if you will regale me with stories.

                  I have virtually no stories of railroading to share with you save the one that was the pinnacle of my life. Being a distance runner, I would run out along railroad tracks whenever possible. One chilly fall morning, I was in Missoula, MT and I went for a 10 mile out, 10 mile back run along the tracks there. About 3 miles on the return leg, a green switch engine came up on me from behind and the engineer asked me (as he slowed) if I’d like a ride back into town.

                  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

                  I never stopped glowing that whole day and it is a cherished memory to this day, 46 years later.

                  1. I was a analyst programmer and designed and wrote everything from switching programs within the yards and schedules to take a shipment from maybe entry in Chicago all the way to a port in CA. Santa Fe was the 1st railway to be able to tell a customer when their shipment would arrive at destination with accuracy. that was the main reason that BN merged with SF. They wanted the software and the visionary CEO of SF who scrapped the idea of having solely tracks into factories and he said the future would be containers through ports. It was a case of David swallowing Goliath as BN had been number 2 in the US and SF was 5th or 6th. My favorite story was when we were sitting in the Chicago yard installing the 1st stage of the new system and the team manager that was sitting next to me said ‘derailment’. I didn’t hear anything but he heard the wheel hit the gravel. we looked out the window and saw 2 trains passing each other and seemed fine. he said ‘wait’ … within 30 seconds I saw the rear train start to fall away. we were probably 20 metres max from the event and went outside to see carriages from one train hanging over the side of an overpass that had cars travelling underneath. if the carriages had broken free and plunged it would have been a disaster.

                    1. This fascinates me very much. Could you please give me dates for the things you mention? It would help me to appreciate them better. I find especially fascinating the information about Santa Fe being the first to be able to tell a customer when his shipment would arrive. Nowadays, outfits like Amazon, UPS and FedEx can tell you where your shipment is with great specificity.

                      I would have loved to have been able to talk with the guy that heard/felt enough info to know a derailment was happening.

                      I assume you are retired and I am wondering for how long and how long you have lived in Cuenca.

                    2. maybe you can research when the merger happened ? UP tried to keep up by merging later with SP but completely stuffed it up as their computer systems weren’t merged well and they had shipments blocking tracks (outside their sidings) all over the US. BNSF picked up even more customers then … lol. yes … every is coordinated well now but in GOT they relied on ravens, in the WW2 they relied on someone coming within radar range to know where something was …. technology evolves. the guy you are talking about was showing some people around the switching yards and got his foot stuck in the track somehow and a manual track unit hit him in the head … I was in Montreal with CN then so don’t have all of the details but he was never the same. tablets every day to control rage or something like that. he came up to being a team leader from originally being a switchman. I couldn’t have written the switch engine program without him taking me to the switch yards and educating me. I was the 3rd person to try and write that program. I retired to here 5 years ago but kept going back to Oz to work at SAPOL … finally finished now that I am over 70.

                    3. Thank you for taking the time to write that for me. I appreciate the indulgence.

                      Having been in an airline family and having enjoyed the tremendous travel benefits of that situation, I’m wondering if railroad employees received the same sort of benefits. Was there reciprocity with other carriers? One of the many routes I’ve always wanted to ride was the one from Vancouver through Banff to Calgary. I used to ski at Lake Louse, Sunshine Village and Norquay and seeing the train (and hearing that glorious sound of the train whistles and bells) I longed to ride that, as well as a similar route that went from Vancouver through Jasper and all the way to Toronto. Of course there is no train buff in existence that hasn’t longed to ride the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul.

                      Could you tell me what you mean by this: ” every is coordinated well now but in GOT they relied on ravens, in the WW2 they relied on someone coming within radar range to know where something was” What is GOT? Are the ravens metaphorical or something I’m unaware of?

                      Where were you in Oz and how long were you there? I have a friend that relocated from the U.S. to Darroughby, where he owned a large Botanical garden. He has been there for over 50 years and became somewhat of a celebrity as he was whacky and had an ABC program on botany years ago. His name is Paul Recher.



                      I will google the merger you speak of for more information.

                      Thank you, again

                    4. GOT is Game of Thrones … mythical. I will watch the final episode tonight on my Firestick after only starting to watch the 8 seasons a couple of months ago. Need new series now … probably Bolivar because I live in Ecuador now and he is famous.
                      All of the train nuts that I met took cameras and recorded trains everywhere that they travelled. They were freight railways so not sure what kind of benefits they could expect from other railways ?

                    5. Got it. I don’t watch much television other than news all day and NBA basketball and NFL during those seasons.

                      I used to be a House, fanatic and same with Hill St. Blues, L.A. Law and most recently, Suits, but I can watch all of those by binge watching and can be done with an entire season in a single day.

                      It’s funny, but I have taken very few train pictures. No need to really, because I can always go to youtube and see virtually any train, anywhere and I do so every once in a while. I even go for rides on the NYC subways that way. Recently I watched a snow blowing unit up on Donner Pass and it was a treat. Check this out in Hi-Def:


                    6. we watched every episode of Suits in the last few months trying to see f Meghan was an actor or not after she married Prince Harry. She was ok. Now finished GOT … need new things to watch. Have watched most good new movies too. Will have to go back to the classics. watching everything for free is great.

                    7. Agree. I believe I have episodes of Suits to catch up on, but my obsession with news and writing about it has kept me from “pleasure” TV.

                      I’m still waiting for my internet to be upgraded. I used to have Puntonet 100Mbps service, but the tranvia construction cut it 3 times and Puntonet won’t replace it. I have slow ETAPA service, but they have agreed to bring us their inferior fiberoptic service. I have an Invidia Shield, ready to go, but not worth hooking up until I upgrade the internet feed.

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