Morocco bids farewell to plastic bags

Law banning them becomes effective on July 1

09 June, 12:56

    (ANSAmed) - RABAT, JUNE 9 - Morocco is besieged by plastic, like the rest of Africa. But in view of the world's top environmental event Cop22 to be held in November in Marrakech, Rabat is seeking at least to get rid of plastic bags to be banned as of July 1.

    The battle started in a hushed way in 2009 and reached Parliament only in 2014 to become draft law 77-15 the following year and come into effect next month with the implementation of all the decrees. After July 1, it will be prohibited to use, import and distribute common plastic bags. Those who fail to respect the legislation risk fines of up to one million dirhams.

    In 2015, Moroccans used 26 billion plastic bags - on average 900 bags a year for each resident of the Kingdom compared with the 140 in the world. Morocco is the world's top plastic bag consumer after the US. There are exceptions, for example for plastic used in agriculture, to freeze or for garbage.

    Environmentalists are hailing the measure but the Moroccan federation of plastic producers is sounding the alarm for the ''50,000 jobs'' that will be lost, along with all the planned investments. The sector is worth about 11.3 billion dirham for 600 productive units of different entity.

    The measure will cost the Moroccan government an estimated 8 million euros, including funding to educate the population not to use plastic bags anymore. In some areas of the country, in particular close to dumps, the landscape is ruined by plastic bags that invade even pastures. Used for an average 12 minuted, they take between 100 and 400 years to be disposed of. (ANSAmed)
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