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How a Guatemalan Town Tackled Its Plastic Problem

In San Pedro La Laguna, single-use items made from plastic and styrofoam are banned.

At dawn, the market is bustling with all the usual suspects. A vendor prepares tostadas with an array of colorful toppings from sautéed beetroot to homemade guacamole. In the next stall, a woman is pounding out blue corn tortillas by hand—the rhythm of her labor echoes throughout the market, setting a lively tempo. Nearby a farmer is selling fresh produce from wicker baskets.

Inhabitants of San Pedro La Laguna are primarily Tz’utujil Maya. Local ladies don colorful textiles, carrying the history of their ancestors in the threads. They carry equally bright woven rubber basket bags that they fill to the brim with goods. The baker and pharmacist are busy handcrafting paper packaging for their products. Men wearing traditional woven hats sit on the shallow steps of the town’s Catholic church as children play in the stark white courtyard.

Something is missing from this commerce scene: single-use plastic and styrofoam.

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Tags: #environment, #guatemala
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