In 2008, the province of Buenos Aires banned the used of plastic bags. In 2004, the province of Mendoza prohibited the use of non-biodegradable bags. In 2005, the province of Chubut, in Patagonia, prohibited the use of polyethylene bags. The same happened in the Patagonian tourist towns of El Bolson in Chubut, (2006) and El Calafate in Santa Cruz (2007) Yet, as of today, only the town of Calafate is known to have enforced the law. Grocery stores in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Chubut and all over Argentina still use plastic bags in monumental numbers. But there is no other place where “breaking the law” is more evident than in “pristine” Patagonia. In an area known as “the land of the wind” the prevailing westerlies blow across the Andean peaks, over the vast empty steppes. The winds carry plastic bags from open garbage fields, from every pueblo, and every town, to the Atlantic ocean. From these palaces of our consumption, and for kilometers around, plastic reigns. Trees and bushes transformed into polyethylene sculptures, product of an oil era. And for the ocean and its inhabitants, god knowns how many of these eternal deadly ghosts have soiled its beaches and waters.
You can see the panorama photo up close if you click this link