Morocco is Phasing Plastics Bags Out

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
July 19, 2016

Global Citizen reported that the small North African country teems with beauty and grandeur around every corner, but sadly, many people don’t realise Morocco fought an ongoing battle with one of the environment’s formidable enemies – plastic bags.

Yes, plastic bags. A 2013 study showed Moroccan cities were able to discard and throw 70% of trash. Majority of these bags are left to pollute Morocco’s picturesque landscape for centuries to come as they degrade the environment. Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to breakdown and decompose which can entangle wildlife and transforms any pristine natural beauty into a man-made eyesore.

The country uses about 3 billion plastic bags every year, and Morocco is the 2nd largest plastic bag user in the world right after the United States! That is 900 plastic bags used per person every year. But luckily, Morocco is no stranger to environmental activism. The country ranks among one of the greenest in the world because of its efforts to crackdown on carbon emissions. And at present, they are getting rid of plastics. The movement began in 2009 when Morocco started banning black plastic bags in order to

The country ranks among one of the greenest in the world because of its efforts to crackdown on carbon emissions. And at present, they are getting rid of plastics. The movement began in 2009 when Morocco started banning black plastic bags in order to minimise the unhealthy amounts of trash on the beaches and in the streets.

The country ranks among one of the greenest in the world because of its efforts to crackdown on carbon emissions. And at present, they are getting rid of plastics. The movement began in 2009 when Morocco started banning black plastic bags in order to minimise the unhealthy amounts of trash on the beaches and in the streets.

Last October, the Moroccan Parliament took things further by passing a bill banning the production, sale, distribution and importation of all plastic bags across the country. This bill was signed into law on July 1st and has already proven to make a significant adjustment for Moroccan citizens. A week before the legislation passed, shop owners and street vendors stocked up on the plastic bags. The green campaigners predict the total ban, unfortunately, will not be a quick or seamless transitions for the Moroccan citizens. It will take years of adjusting to fully accept and adapt to using paper bags or thicker usable totes.

A week before the legislation passed, shop owners and street vendors stocked up on the plastic bags. The green campaigners predict the total ban, unfortunately, will not be a quick or seamless transitions for the Moroccan citizens. It will take years of adjusting to fully accept and adapt to using paper bags or thicker usable totes.

Other countries have joined in completely banning plastic bags including China, Somalia, Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, Ethiopia and South Africa. Last year, England has taken the step to place an official charge of 5p on all companies with 250 or more employees.

Click here to read full story on Global Citizen

Image credit: Inhabitat

 

 

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